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Title: Music: An Art and a Language

Author: Walter Raymond Spalding

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MUSIC: AN ART AND A LANGUAGE


BY

WALTER RAYMOND SPALDING


_Price $2.50 net_


THE ARTHUR P. SCHMIDT CO.

BOSTON
120 BOYLSTON STREET

NEW YORK
8 WEST 40th STREET

Copyright, 1920, by THE ARTHUR P. SCHMIDT CO.

International Copyright Secured

A.P.S. 11788




TO MY COLLEAGUES
IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC
AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY

WILLIAM CLIFFORD HEILMAN, EDWARD BURLINGAME HILL,
ARCHIBALD THOMPSON DAVISON, EDWARD BALLANTINE




SUPPLEMENTARY
ILLUSTRATIONS

for

_MUSIC:
an ART and a LANGUAGE_

Vols. I & II now ready

(_Schmidt's Educational Series No. 257-a, b_)

Price $1.00 each volume




Preface


Although "of the making of books there is no end," this book, on so
human a subject as music, we believe should justify itself. A
twenty-years' experience in teaching the Appreciation of Music at
Harvard University and Radcliffe College has convinced the author that
a knowledge of musical grammar and structure does enable us, as the
saying is, to get more out of music. This conviction is further
strengthened by the statement of numerous students who testify that
after analyzing certain standard compositions their attitude towards
music has changed and their love for it greatly increased.

In the illustrations (published in a Supplementary Volume) no
concessions have been made to so-called "popular taste"; people have
an instinctive liking for the best when it is fairly put before them.
We are not providing a musical digest, since music requires _active
coöperation_ by the hearer, nor are we trying to interpret music in
terms of the other arts. Music is itself. For those who may be
interested in speculating as to the connection between music and art,
numerous books are available--some of them excellent from their point
of view.

This book concerns itself with music _as_ music. It is assumed that,
if anyone really loves this art, he is willing and glad to do serious
work to quicken his sense of hearing, to broaden his imagination, and
to strengthen his memory so that he may become intelligent in
appreciation rather than merely absorbed in honeyed sounds. Music is
of such power and glory that we should be ready to devote to its study
as much time as to a foreign language. In the creed of the music-lover
the first and last article is familiarity. When we thoroughly know a
composition so that its themes sing in our memory and we feel at home
in the structure, the music will speak to us directly, and all books
and analytical comments will be of secondary importance--those of the
present writer not excepted. Special effort has been made to select
illustrations of musical worth, and upon these the real emphasis in
study should be laid.

The material of the book is based on lectures, often of an informal
nature, in the Appreciation Course at Harvard University and lays no
claim to original research. The difficulty in establishing points of
approach makes it far more baffling to speak or write about music than
about the other arts. Music is sufficient unto itself. Endowed with
the insight of a Ruskin or a Pater, one may say something worth while
about painting. But in music the line between mere statistical
analysis and sentimental rhapsody must be drawn with exceeding care.
If the subject matter be clearly presented and the analyses
true--allowance being made for honest difference of opinion--every
hope will be realized.

The author's gratitude is herewith expressed to Mr. Percy Lee Atherton
for his critical revision of the text and to Professor William C.
Heilman for valuable assistance in selecting and preparing the musical
illustrations.

W.R.S.

Cambridge, Massachusetts
  _June_, 1919




Contents


I. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS                              1

II. THE FOLK-SONG                                         18

III. POLYPHONIC MUSIC; SEBASTIAN BACH, THE FUGUE          33

IV. THE MUSICAL SENTENCE                                  50

V. THE TWO-PART AND THREE-PART FORMS                      69

VI. THE CLASSICAL AND THE MODERN SUITE                    73

VII. THE RONDO FORM                                       81

VIII. THE VARIATION FORM                                  85

IX. THE SONATA-FORM AND ITS FOUNDERS--EMMANUEL
BACH AND HAYDN                                            91

X. MOZART. THE PERFECTION OF CLASSIC STRUCTURE
AND STYLE                                                108

XI. BEETHOVEN, THE TONE-POET                             122

XII. THE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS. SCHUBERT, WEBER             160

XIII. SCHUMANN AND MENDELSSOHN                           172

XIV. CHOPIN AND PIANOFORTE STYLE                         188

XV. BERLIOZ AND LISZT. PROGRAM MUSIC                     202

XVI. BRAHMS                                              228

XVII. CÉSAR FRANCK                                       255

XVIII. THE MODERN FRENCH SCHOOL--D'INDY AND DEBUSSY      280

XIX. NATIONAL SCHOOLS--RUSSIAN, BOHEMIAN AND
SCANDINAVIAN                                             300

XX. THE VARIED TENDENCIES OF MODERN MUSIC                326




    _Music is the universal language of mankind._

    --LONGFELLOW.


    _Music can noble hints impart,
    Engender fury, kindle love;
    With unsuspected eloquence can move
    And manage all the man with secret art._

    --ADDISON.


    _Music is the sound of the circulation in nature's veins. It
    is the flux which melts nature. Men dance to it, glasses
    ring and vibrate, and the fields seem to undulate. The
    healthy ear always hears it, nearer or more remote._

    --THOREAU.


    _To strike all this life dead,
    Run mercury into a mold like lead,
    And henceforth have the plain result to show--
    How we Feel hard and fast, and what we Know--
    This were the prize, and is the puzzle!--which
    Music essays to solve._

    --BROWNING.


    _All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by
    the instruments._

    --WHITMAN.




Music: an Art and a Language




CHAPTER I

PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS


In approaching the study of any subject we may fairly expect that this
subject shall be defined, although some one has ironically remarked
that every definition is a misfortune. Music-lovers, however, will
rejoice that their favorite art is spared such a misfortune, for it
can not be defined. We know the factors of which music is constituted,
rhythm and sound; and we can trace the historic steps by which methods
of presentation and of style have been so perfected that by means of
this twofold material the emotions and aspirations of human beings may
be expressed and permanently recorded. We realize, and with our inborn
equipment can appreciate, the moving power of music; but to define, in
the usual sense of the term definition, what music really is, will be
forever impossible. The fact indeed that music--like love, electricity
and other elemental forces--cannot be defined is its special glory. It
is a peculiar, mysterious power;[1] quite in a class by itself,
although with certain aspects which it shares with the other arts. The
writings of all the great poets, such as Milton, Shakespeare, Browning
and Whitman, abound in eloquent tributes to the power and influence of
music, but it is noticeable that no one attempts to define it. The
mystery of music must be approached with reverence and music must be
loved for itself with perfect sincerity.

[Footnote 1: For suggestive comments on this point see the essays
_Harmonie et Melodie_ by Saint-Saëns, Chapters I and II.]

Some insight, however, may be gained into the nature of music by a
clear recognition of what it is _not_, and by a comparison with the
more definite and familiar arts. Music consists of the intangible and
elusive factors of rhythm and sound; in this way differing
fundamentally from the concrete static arts such as architecture,
sculpture and painting. Furthermore, instrumental music, _i.e._, music
freed from a dependence on words, is not an exact language like prose
and poetry. It speaks to our feelings and imaginations, as it were by
suggestion; reaching for this very reason depths of our being quite
beyond the power of mere words. No one can define rhythm except by
saying that rhythm, in the sense of motion, is the fundamental fact in
the universe and in all life, both physical and human. Everything in
the heavens above and in the earth beneath is in ceaseless motion and
change; nothing remains the same for two consecutive seconds. Even the
component parts of material--such as stone and wood, which we
ordinarily speak of as concrete and stationary--are whirling about
with ceaseless energy, and often in perfect rhythm. Thus we see how
natural and vital is the art of music, for it is inseparably connected
with life itself.

As for the other factor, sound is one of the most elemental and
mysterious of all physical phenomena.[2] When the air is set in motion
by the vibration of certain bodies of wood, metal and other material,
we know that sound waves, striking upon the tympanum of the ear,
penetrate to the brain and imagination. Sound is a reciprocal
phenomenon; for, even if there were systematic activity of vibrating
bodies, there could be no sound without some one to hear it.[3] Good
musicians are known for their power of keen and discriminating
hearing; and the ear,[4] as Saint-Saëns says, is the sole avenue of
approach to the musical sense. The first ambition for one who would
appreciate music should be to cultivate this power of hearing. It is
quite possible to be stone-deaf outwardly and yet hear most beautiful
sounds within the brain. This was approximately the case with
Beethoven after his thirtieth year. On the other hand, many people
have a perfect outward apparatus for hearing but nothing is registered
within.

[Footnote 2: See Chapter II of Gurney's _Power of Sound_, a book
remarkable for its insight.]

[Footnote 3: It is understood that this statement is made in a
subjective rather than a purely physical sense. See the _Century
Dictionary_ under _Sound_.]

[Footnote 4: Il y a donc, dans l'art des sons, quelque chose qui
traverse l'oreille comme un portique, la raison comme un vestibule et
qui va plus loin.

HARMONIE ET MELODIE, CHAPTER II.]

Combarieu, the French aesthetician, defines music as "the art of
thinking in tones."[5] There is food for thought in this statement,
but it seems to leave out one very important factor--namely, the
emotional. Every great musical composition reveals a carefully
planned and perfect balance between the emotional and intellectual
elements. And yet the basic impulse for the creation of music is an
emotional one; and, of all the arts, music makes the most direct
appeal to the emotions and to those shadowy, but real portions of our
being called the imagination and the soul. Emotion is as indispensable
to music as love to religion. Just as there can be no really great art
without passion, so we can not imagine music without all the emotions
of mankind: their loves, joys, sorrows, hatreds, ideals and subtle
fancies. Music, in fact, is a presentation of emotional experience,
fashioned and controlled by an overruling intellectual power.

[Footnote 5: _La musique, ses lois, son evolution_, by Jules
Combarieu.]

We can now foresee, though at first dimly, what is to be our line of
approach to this mystery. One of the peculiar characteristics of music
is that it is both the most natural and least artificial of the arts,
and as well the most complicated and subtle. On the one hand it is the
most natural and direct, because the materials of which it is
constituted--that is, sound and rhythm--make an instinctive appeal to
every normally equipped human being.[6] Every one likes to listen to
beautiful sounds merely for their sensuous effect, just as everyone
likes to look at the blue sky, the green grass and the changing hues
of a sunset; so the rhythm of music, akin to the human heart-beat and
to the ceaseless change and motion, which is the basic fact in all
life, appeals at once to our own physical vitality. This fact may be
observed at a symphony concert where so many people are wagging their
heads, beating time with their hands or even tapping on the floor with
their feet; a habit which shows a rudimentary love of music but which
for obvious reasons is not to be commended. On the other hand, music
is the most complicated of all the arts from the nature of its
constituent parts--intangible, evanescent sounds and rhythms--and from
the subtle grammar and structure by which these factors are used as
means of personal communication. This grammar of music, _i.e._, its
methods of structure and of presentation, has been worked out through
centuries of free experimentation on the part of some of the best
minds in the world, and thus any great musical composition is an
intellectual achievement of high rank. Behind the sensuous factors,
sound and rhythm, lies always the personal message of the composer,
and if we are to grasp this and to make it our own, we must go with
him hand in hand so that the music actually lives again in our minds
and imaginations. The practical inference from this dual nature of the
art we are considering is clear; everyone can derive a large amount of
genuine pleasure and even spiritual exaltation, can feel himself under
the influence of a strong tonic force, merely by putting himself in
contact with music, by opening his ears and drinking in the sounds and
rhythms in their marvellous variety. The all-sufficient reason for the
lack of a complete appreciation of music is that so many people stop
at this point, _i.e._ for them music is a sensuous art and nothing
more. Wagner himself, in fact, is on record in a letter to Liszt as
saying, in regard to the appreciation of his operas: "I require
nothing from the public but healthy senses and a human heart."
Although this may be particularly true of opera, which is a composite
form of art, making so varied an appeal to the participant that
everyone can get something from its picture of life--historical,
legendary, even fictitious--as well as from the actors, the costumes
and the story, the statement is certainly not applicable to what is
called absolute music, where music is disassociated from the guiding
help of words, and expressed by the media of orchestra, string
quartet, pianoforte, and various ensemble groups. For in addition to
its sensuous appeal, music is a language used as a means of personal
expression; sometimes in the nature of an intimate soliloquy, but far
more often as a direct means of communication between the mind and
soul of the composer and of the listener. To say that we understand
the message expressed in this language just because we happen to like
beautiful sounds and stimulating rhythms is surely to be our own
dupes. We might as well say that because we enjoy hearing Italians or
Frenchmen speak their own beautiful languages we are understanding
what they say. The question, therefore, faces us: how shall we learn
this mysterious language so as readily to understand it? And the
answer is equally inevitable: by learning something of the material of
which it is composed, and above all, the fundamental principles of its
structure.

[Footnote 6: Just as some people are color-blind there are those who
are tone-deaf--to whom, that is, music is a disagreeable noise--but
they are so few as to be negligible.]

In attempting to carry out this simple direction, however, we are
confronted by another of the peculiar characteristics of music. Music,
in distinction from the static, concrete and imitative arts, is always
in motion, and to follow it requires an intensity of concentration and
an accuracy of memory which can be acquired, but for which, like most
good things, we have to work. We all know the adage that "beauty is in
the eye of the beholder" and that any work of art must be recreated
in the imagination of the participant. The difficulty of this process
of recreation, as applied to music, is that we have, derived from our
ordinary daily experiences, so little to help us. Anyone can begin, at
least, to understand a work of architecture; it must have doors and
windows, and should conform to practical ideas of structure. In like
manner, a painting, either a portrait or a landscape, must show some
correspondence with nature herself, and so we have definite standards
to help our imagination. But music has worked out its own laws which
are those of pure fancy, having little to do with other forms of
thought; and unless we know something of the constructive principles,
instead of recreating the work before us, we are simply lost--"drowned
in a sea of sound"--often rudely shaken up by the rhythms, but far
from understanding what the music is really saying. As the well-known
critic, Santayana, wittily says, "To most people music is a drowsy
revery relieved by nervous thrills."

Notwithstanding, however, the peculiar nature of music and the
difficulty of gaining logical impressions as the sounds and rhythms
flood in upon us, there is one simple form of coöperation which solves
most of the difficulties; that is, familiarity. It is the duty of the
composer so to express himself, to make his meaning so clear, that we
can receive it with a minimum of mental friction if we can only get to
know the music. All really good music corresponds to such a standard;
that is, if it is needlessly involved, abstruse, diffuse, or turgid,
it is _in so far_ not music of the highest artistic worth. In this
connection we must always remember that music does not "stay put,"
like a picture on the wall. We cannot walk through it, as is the case
with a cathedral; turn back, as in a book; touch it, as with a statue.
It is not the expression of more or less definite ideas, such as we
find in prose and poetry. On the other hand, it rushes upon us with
the impassioned spirit of an eloquent orator, and what we get from it
depends almost entirely upon our own intensity of application and upon
our knowledge of the themes and of the general purpose of the work.
Only with increased familiarity does the architecture stand revealed.
Beethoven, it is said, when once asked the meaning of a sonata of his,
played it over again and replied, "It means that." Music is itself.
The question for every music-lover is: can I equip myself in such a
way as to feel at home in this language, to receive the message as
directly as possible, and finally with perfect ease and satisfaction?
This equipment demands a strong, accurate memory, a keen power of
discrimination and a sympathetic, open mind.

Another paradoxical characteristic of music on which it is interesting
to reflect is this: Music is the oldest as well as the youngest of the
arts, _i.e._, it has always[7] existed generically, and all human
beings born, as they are, with a musical instrument--the voice--are
_ipso facto_ musicians; and yet in boundless scope of possibilities it
is just in its infancy. For who can limit the combinations of sound
and rhythm, or forecast the range of the human imagination? The
creative fancy of the composer is always in advance of contemporary
taste and criticism. Hence, in listening to new music, we should
beware of reckless assertions of personal preference. The first
question, in the presence of an elaborate work of music, should never
be, "Do I like it or not?" but "Do I understand it?" "Is the music
conveying a logical message to me, or is it merely a sea of sound?"
The first and last article in the music-lover's creed, I repeat,
should be _familiarity_. When we thoroughly know a symphony, symphonic
poem or sonata so that, for example, we can sing the themes to
ourselves, the music will reveal itself. The difference between the
trained listener and the person of merely general musical tendencies
is that the former gains a definite meaning from the music often at a
first hearing; whereas, to the latter, many hearings are necessary
before he can make head or tail of the composition. Since the creative
composer of music is a thinker in tones, our perceptions must be so
trained that, as we listen, we make sense of the fabric of sounds and
rhythms.

[Footnote 7: From earliest times, mothers have doubtless crooned to
their infants in instinctive lullabies.]

It is evident from the foregoing observations that our approach to the
subject is to be on the intellectual side. Music, to be sure, is an
emotional art and so appeals to our emotions, but these will take care
of themselves. We all have a reasonable supply of emotion and
practically no human being is entirely deficient in the capacity for
being moved by music. We can, however, sharpen our wits and strengthen
our musical memories; for it is obvious that if we cannot recognize a
theme or remember it whenever it appears, often in an amplified or
even subtly disguised form, we are in no condition to follow and
appreciate the logical growth and development of the themes themselves
which, in a work of music, are just as real beings as the "dramatis
personae" in a play. The would-be appreciator should early recognize
the fact that listening to music is by no means passive, a means of
light amusement or to pass the time, but demands coöperation of an
active nature. Whether or not we have the emotional capacity of a
creator of music may remain an open question; but by systematic mental
application we _can_, as we listen to it, get from the music that
sense which the composer meant to convey. Music--more than the other
arts--demands, to use a happy expression of D.G. Mason, that we
"mentally organize our sensations and ideas"; for the language of
music has no such fixed grammar as verbal modes of expression, and the
message, even when received, is suggestive rather than definite. In
this way only can the composition be recreated in our imaginations.
For acquiring this habit of mind, this alertness and concentration,
the start, as always, is more than half the battle. Schumann's good
advice to young composers may be transferred to the listener: "Be sure
that you invent a thoroughly vital theme; the rest will grow of itself
from this." Likewise in listening to music, one should be sure to
grasp the opening theme, the fundamental motive, in order to follow it
intelligently and to enjoy its subsequent growth into the complete
work.[8]

[Footnote 8: In this connection we cannot refrain from suggesting the
improvement which should be made in the concert manners of the public.
How often, at the beginning of a concert, do we see people removing
their wraps, looking at their neighbors, reading the programme book,
etc., instead of concentrating on the music itself; with the result
that the composition is often well on its way before such people have
found their bearings.]

Every piece of music, with the exception of intentionally rhapsodic
utterances, begins with some group of notes of distinct rhythmic and
melodic interest, which is the germ--the generative force--of the
whole, and which is comparable to the text of a sermon or the subject
of a drama. This introductory group of notes is called, technically, a
_motive_ or moving force and may be defined as _the simplest unit of
imaginative life in terms of rhythm and sound_, which instantly
impresses itself upon our consciousness and, when heard several times,
cannot be forgotten or confused with any other motive. A musical
theme--a longer sweep of thought (to be explained later)--may consist
of several motives of which the first is generally the most important.
Just here lies the difference between the Heaven-born themes of a
truly creative composer and the bundle of notes put forth by lesser
men. These living themes pierce our imaginations and sing in our
memories, sometimes for years, whereas the inept and flabby tunes of
certain so-called composers make no strong impression and are
forgotten almost as soon as heard. Motives obviously differ from each
other in regard to the intervals of the tones composing them, _i.e._,
the up and down relationship in pitch, the duration of the tones and
their grouping into metric schemes. But a real motive is always terse,
concise, characteristic and pregnant with unrevealed meaning. The
chief glory of such creative tone-poets as Beethoven, Wagner, Brahms
and Franck is that their imaginations could give birth to musical
offspring that live for ever and are loved like life itself. The first
step, then, in the progress of the appreciator of music is the
recognition of the chief motive or motives of a composition and the
development of power to follow them in their organic growth. This
ability is particularly necessary in modern music: for frequently all
four movements of a symphony or string-quartet are based upon a motive
which keeps appearing--often in altered form and in relationships
which imply a dramatic or suggestive meaning. A few of such motives
are cited herewith, taken from works with which, as we proceed, we
shall become familiar.

[Music: CÉSAR FRANCK: _Symphony in D minor_]

[Music: BRAHMS: _First Symphony in C minor_]

[Music: TCHAIKOWSKY: _5th Symphony_]

[Music: DVO[VR]ÁK: Symphony _From the New World_]

It is now necessary for the student to know something about the
constructive principles by which large works of music are fashioned;
not so much that he could compose these works himself, even if he had
the inspiration, but to know enough, so that the reception of the
music is not a haphazard activity but an intellectual achievement,
second only to that of the original creator. Every genuine work of art
in whatever medium, stone, color, word or tone, must exhibit _unity of
general effect with variety of detail_. That is, the material must
hold together, be coherent and convince the participant of the logical
design of the artist; not fall apart as might a bad building, or be
diffuse as a poorly written essay. And yet, with this coherence, there
must always be stimulating and refreshing variety; for a too constant
insistence on the main material produces intolerable monotony, such as
the "damnable iteration" of a mediocre prose work or the harping away
on one theme by the hack composer. In no art more than music is this
dual standard of greater importance, and in no art more difficult to
attain. For the raw material of music, fleeting rhythms and waves of
sound, is in its very nature most incoherent. Here we are not dealing
with the concrete, tangible and definite material which is available
for all the other arts, but with something intangible and elusive. We
know from the historical record[9] of musical development, that, only
after centuries of experimentation conducted by some of the best
intellects in Europe, was sufficient coherence gained so that there
could be composed music which would compare with the simplest modern
hymn-tune or part-song. And this was long after each of the other
arts--architecture, sculpture, painting and literature--had reached
points of attainment which, in many respects, have never since been
equalled.

[Footnote 9: Compare Parry's _Evolution of the Art of Music_, passim
and D.G. Mason's _Beethoven and his Forerunners_, Chapter I.]

Before carrying our inquiries further, something must be said about
the two main lines of musical development which led up to music as we
know it to-day. These tendencies are designated by the terms
_Homophonic_ and _Polyphonic_. By homophonic,[10] from Greek words
signifying a "single voice," is meant music consisting of a _single_
melodic line, as in the whole field of folk-songs (which originally
were always unaccompanied) or in the unison chants of the Greeks and
the Gregorian tones of the early church, in which there is _one
melody_ though many voices may unite in singing it. Later we shall see
what important principles for the growth of instrumental music were
borrowed from the instinctive practise associated with the folk-song
and folk-dance. But history makes clear that the fundamental
principles of musical coherence were worked out in the field of music
known as the _Polyphonic_. By this term, as the derivation implies, is
meant music the fabric of which is made by the interweaving of
_several_ independent melodies. For many centuries the most reliable
instrument was the human voice and the only art-music, _i.e._, music
which was the result of conscious mental and artistic endeavor, was
vocal music for groups of unaccompanied voices in the liturgy of the
church. About the tenth century, musicians tried the crude
experiment,[11] called Organum, of making two groups of singers move
in parallel fifths _e.g._,

[Music: Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.]

but during the 13th and 14th centuries a method was worked out by
which the introductory tune was made to generate its own subsequent
tissue. It was found that a body of singers could announce a melody of
a certain type and that, after they had proceeded so far, a second set
of singers could repeat the opening melodic phrase--and so likewise
often a third and a fourth set--and that all the voices could be made
to blend together in a fairly harmonious whole.[12] A piece of music
of this systematic structure is called a _Round_ because the singers
take up the melody in _rotation_ and at regular rhythmic periods.[13]
The earliest specimen of a Round is the famous one "Sumer is icumen
in" circa 1225 (see Supplement of musical Examples No. 1), which shows
to what a high point of perfection--considering those early
days--musicians had brought their art. For, at any rate, by these
systematic, imitative repetitions they had secured the first requisite
of all music, coherence. This principle, once it was sanctioned by
growing musical instinct, and approved by convention, was developed
into such well-known types of polyphonic music as the Canon, the
Invention and the Fugue; terms which will be fully explained later on.
It is of more than passing interest to realize that these structural
principles of music were worked out in the same locality--Northern
France and the Netherlands, and by kindred intellects--as witnessed
the growth of Gothic architecture; and there is a fundamental affinity
between the interweavings of polyphonic or, as it is often called,
_contrapuntal_[14] music and the stone traceries in medieval
cathedrals. During the 13th and 14th centuries northern France, with
Paris as its centre, was the most cultivated part of Europe, and the
Flemish cities of Cambrai, Tournai, Louvain and Antwerp will always be
renowned in the history of art, as the birthplace of Gothic
architecture, of modern painting and of polyphonic music.[15] A great
deal of the impetus towards the systematic repetition of the voice
parts must have been caused by practical necessity (thus justifying
the old adage); for, before the days of printed music, or even of a
well-established tradition--when everything had to be laboriously
written out or transmitted orally--whole compositions could be
rendered by the singers through the simple device of remembering the
introductory theme and joining in from memory whenever their turn
came. Compositions in fact were often so recorded.[16] The following
old English round (circa 1609) shows clearly how the voices entered in
rotation.

[Music:

1 Three blind mice, three blind mice

2 ran around thrice, ran around thrice; The

3 miller and his merry old wife ne'er laugh'd so much in all their
life.]

For a Round in strict canonic imitation by the famous English composer
William Byrd (1542-1623) see the Supplement, Example No. 2. In due
time singers of that period became likewise very proficient in
improvising free parts about a given melody or _cantus firmus_, a
practice indicated by the term "musica ficta" which was beneficial in
stimulating the imagination to a genuine musical activity.

[Footnote 10: In comparatively recent times the term has been widened
to include music in which there is one _chief_ melody to which other
portions of the musical texture are subordinate; _e.g._, the
homophonic style of Chopin in whose works the chief melody, often in
the upper voice, seems to float on underlying waves of sound.]

[Footnote 11: For a complete account of these early attempts which
finally led to part-writing see Chapter IV in the first volume of the
_Oxford History of Music_.]

[Footnote 12: An historical account of this development as far as it
is ascertainable may be found in the fifth chapter of Pratt's _History
of Music_.]

[Footnote 13: Consult the article on the Round in _Grove's
Dictionary_.]

[Footnote 14: A rather crude English adaptation of the Latin term
"Punctus contra punctum" which refers to the notes as punct[=u]s
(plural) or dots which were pricked with a stylus into the medieval
manuscripts. In this phrase the emphasis is on the _contra_,
signifying a combination of _different_ melodies and rhythms, and
calling attention to that higher importance which, everywhere in art,
is caused by contrasted elements.]

[Footnote 15: For an interesting account of this tripartite activity
see Naumann's _History of Music_.]

[Footnote 16: See the facsimile of the original manuscript of "_Sumer
is icumen in_" cited in the first volume of the _Oxford History of
Music_, pp. 326-332.]

We can now begin to realize the importance of polyphonic music. In
fact, it is not too much to assert that _systematic repetition_ in
some form or other (several aspects of which we shall describe in due
season) is the most important constructive principle in music,
necessitated by the very nature of the material. This statement can be
corroborated by a glance at almost any page of music considered merely
as a _pattern_, quite regardless how the notes sound. We observe at
once that some portions of the page look much or exactly like other
portions. Frequently whole movements or long parts of a work are based
entirely upon some terse and characteristic motive. Famous examples of
this practise are the first movement of Beethoven's _Fifth Symphony in
C minor_ which, with certain subsidiary themes to afford contrast, is
entirely based on the motive:

[Music]

the Finale of Wagner's opera _The Valkyrie_ (see Supplement, Example
No. 3) the chief motive of which

[Music]

is presented in every phase of modulatory and rhythmic development,
and the middle portion of the _Reconnaissance_ from Schumann's
_Carnaval_ (see Supplement, Example No. 4.)

Music, just because its substance is so elusive and requires such
alert attention on the part of the listener, cannot continually
present new material[17] without becoming diffuse; but instead, must
make its impression by varied emphasis upon the main thought.
Otherwise it would become so discursive that one could not possibly
follow it. From these historical facts as to the structure of music
certain inferences may be drawn; the vital importance of which to the
listener can hardly be exaggerated. As polyphonic treatment (the
imitation and interweaving of independent melodic lines) is the
foundation of any large work of music, be it symphony, symphonic poem
or string quartet, so the listener must acquire what may be called a
_polyphonic ear_. For with the majority of listeners, the whole
difficulty and the cause of their dissatisfaction with so-called
"classic music" is merely lack of equipment. Everyone can hear the
tune in the soprano or upper voice, for the intensity of pitch makes
it stand out with telling effect; and, as a fact, many of the best
tunes in musical literature are so placed. But how about the tune when
it is in the _bass_ as is the case so frequently in Beethoven's
Symphonies or in Wagner's Operas? Some of the most eloquent parts of
the musical message are, indeed, often in the bass, the foundation
voice, and yet these are entirely ignored by the average listener.
Then what of the inner voices; and what--most important of all--when
there are beautiful melodies in _all parts_ of the musical fabric,
often sounding simultaneously, as in such well-known works as César
Franck's _Symphony in D minor_ and Wagner's _Prelude to the
Mastersingers_! As we face these questions squarely the need for the
listener of special training in alertness and concentration is
self-evident. A very small proportion of those who attend a symphony
concert begin to get their money's worth--to put the matter on a
perfectly practical plane--for at least 50% of the musical structure
is presented to ears without capacity for receiving it. In regard to
any work of large dimensions the final test is this: can we sing all
the themes and follow them in their polyphonic development? Then only
are we really acquainted with the work; then only, in regard to
personal like or dislike, have we any right to pass judgment upon it.
The absurd attitude, far too common, of hasty, ill-considered
criticism is illustrated by the fact that while Brahms is said to have
worked for ten years on that Titanic creation, his _First Symphony_,
yet persons will hear it _once_ and have the audacity to say they do
not like it. As well stroll through Chartres Cathedral and say they
did not think much of it!

[Footnote 17: For a simple, charming example of persistent use of a
motive see Schumann's pianoforte piece _Kind im Einschlummern_, No. 12
of the _Kinderscenen_.]

We must now speak of the two other manifestations of the principle of
_repetition_. Fundamentally, to be sure, they are not connected with
polyphonic music; the third type, in fact,--restatement after
contrast--being instinctively worked out in the Folk-Song (as will be
made plain later) and definitely ratified as a structural principle by
the Italian opera composer Alessandro Scarlatti in the well-known Aria
da capo. These further applications of the principle of imitation are
_Transposition_, _i.e._, the repetition of the melodic outline, and
often of the whole harmonic fabric, by shifting it up or down the
scale; and the _Restatement_ of the original melody after an
intervening part in contrast, thus making a piece of music, the
formula for which may be indicated by A, B, Á. Anyone at all familiar
with musical literature must have observed both of these devices for
securing coherence and organic unity; in fact, the principle of
restatement after contrast is at the foundation of any large work, and
supplies the connecting link between the structure of the Folk-Song
and that of the most elaborate modern music. A convincing illustration
of the use of Transposition may be found in Schumann's _Arabesque_,

[Music]

and in the opening theme of Beethoven's _Waldstein Sonata_, op. 53.

[Music]

It was a favorite device of Beethoven to impress the main theme upon
the hearer by definite repetitions on various degrees of the
scale.[18] For an elaborate example of Transposition nothing can
surpass the opening movement of César Franck's _D Minor Symphony_, the
entire first part of which consists of a literal repetition in F minor
of what has been previously announced in D minor.

[Footnote 18: Another well-known example is the first theme of the
first movement of the _Sonata in F minor_ (_Appassionata_) op. 57.
This the student can look up for himself.]

Pieces of music which embody the principle of _Restatement after
Contrast_ are so numerous that the question is merely one of selecting
the clearest examples. In the Folk-Songs of every nation, as soon as
they had passed beyond the stage of a monotonous reiteration of some
phrase which pleased the fancy, _e.g._

[Music: _ad infinitum!_]

we find hardly one in which there is not a similarity between the
closing measures and something which had gone before. (See Supplement,
Example No. 5.) For the most elementary artistic experience would
establish the fact that the only way to avoid a monotonous repetition
of the same theme is to change to a different one. And the next step
is equally axiomatic--that, presupposing the first theme gives
pleasure on its initial appearance, it will be heard with heightened
pleasure at its reappearance after intervening contrast. A
psychological principle is herein involved which cannot be proved but
which is self-justified by its own reasonableness and is further
exemplified by many experiences in daily life. Sweet things taste the
sweeter after a contrast with something acid; we like to revisit old
scenes and to return home after a vacation. No delight is keener than
the _renewal_ of some aesthetic experience after its temporary
effacement through a change of appeal.[19] This practice is associated
with the inherent demand, spoken of above, for Variety in Unity. No
theme is of sufficient import to bear constant repetition; in fact,
the more eloquent it is, the more sated should we become if it were
continued overlong. Monotony, furthermore, is less tolerable in music
than in the other arts because music cuts deeper, because the ear is
so sensitive an organ and because we have no way of shutting off
sound. If a particular sight or scene displeases, we can close our
eyelids; but the ear is entirely unprotected and the only way to
escape annoying sounds is to take to flight.[20] We inevitably crave
contrast, change of sensation; and nothing gives more organic unity
than a return to whatever impressed us at the outset. This cyclic form
of musical expression, early discovered through free experimentation,
has remained the leading principle in all modern works, and--because
derived directly from life and nature--must be permanent. We return
whence we came; everything goes in circles. We can now understand
still more the need of a strong and accurate memory; for if we do not
know whether or not we have ever heard a theme, obviously the keen
pleasure of welcoming it anew is lost to us. Furthermore, this
principle of Restatement has in modern music some very subtle uses,
and presupposes the acquisition of a real power of reminiscence. For
example, Wagner's tone-drama of _Tristan and Isolde_ begins with this
haunting motive

[Music]

which, with its dual melodic lines, typifies the passionate love of
the two chief characters in the story. After three hours or more of
tragic action and musical development this motive is again introduced
in the very closing measures of the drama, to show that even in the
presence of transfiguring death this love is still their guiding
power.

[Music]

[Footnote 19: For some additional comments on this broad principle see
the first Chapter (passim) of Parry's _Evolution of the Art of
Music_.]

[Footnote 20: Everyone has experienced the agony of hearing the
beginner practice, in an adjoining room, the same piece for hours at a
time!]

For those who can appreciate the significance of such treatment, this
reminiscence is one of the most sublime touches in all musical drama.
The fascinating orchestral Scherzo of Richard Strauss's _Till
Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks_ likewise begins with a characteristic
motto,

[Music]

which says, in the language of music--I now have a story to tell you
of a certain freakish character; and then we are regaled with the
musical portrayal of a series of Till's pranks. As an Epilogue,
Strauss improvises on this opening theme as much as to say--you have
listened to my musical story, now let us indulge in some reflections
as to the fate of poor Till, for after all he was a good fellow. (See
Supplement, Example No. 6.)

It is evident, therefore, from the foregoing examples that the basic
principles of musical structure are coherence, refreshing variety and
such unity of general impression as may be gained chiefly by a
restatement, after contrast, of themes previously heard. Our
subsequent study will simply illustrate these natural laws of music in
their wider application.




CHAPTER II

THE FOLK-SONG


In the preceding chapter we made some general inquiries into the
nature of music and of those methods by which emotion and thought are
expressed. We shall assume therefore that the following facts are
established: that in music, by reason of the intangibility and
elusiveness of the material, sound and rhythm, the principle of Unity
in Variety is of paramount importance; and that the hearer, if he
would grasp the message expressed by these sounds and rhythms, must
make a _conscious_ effort of coöperation and not be content with mere
dreamy apathy. Furthermore, that Unity and Coherence are gained in
music by applying the principle of systematic Repetition or Imitation.
(We shall see, as we continue, how Variety has been secured by
contrasting themes, by episodical passages and by various devices of
rhythmic and harmonic development.)

We may now investigate the growth of musical structure and expression,
as manifested in the fields of the Folk-Song and of Polyphonic music,
beginning with the Folk-Song--historically the older and more
elemental in its appeal. We cannot imagine the time when human beings
did not use their voices in some form of emotional outpouring; and, as
far back as there are any historical records, we find traces of such
activity. For many centuries these rude cries of savage races were far
removed from anything like artistic design, but the advance towards
coherence and symmetry was always the result of free experimentation--hence
vitally connected with the emotions and mental processes of all human
effort. One of the most significant of the many sayings attributed to
Daniel Webster is that "Sovereignty rests with the people"; and it is
an interesting inquiry to see what wider application may be made of
this statement in the field of art. For it is a fact that there has
seldom been an important school of music, so-called--in any given
place and period--which was not founded on the emotional traits, the
aspirations and the ideals of the people. Surely one of the distinct
by-products of the Great War is to be the emancipation of the art of
music, along with that of all the other arts. Such a realization of
its nature and powers will result that it shall no longer be a mere
exotic amusement of the leisure and wealthy classes, but shall be
brought into direct touch with the rank and file of the people; even,
if you will, with the so-called "lower classes"--that part of humanity
from which, indeed, it sprung and with which it really belongs--just
human beings, just people. So in music also we may assert that
"Sovereignty rests with the people." Although all art reflects popular
sentiment to a certain extent, in no one of the arts--as painting,
sculpture and architecture--is there such a vital record of the
emotions and artistic instincts of humanity as we find in the realm of
folk-song.[21] During the early period of Church music, while
theorists and scholars were struggling with the intricate problems of
polyphonic style, the people in their daily secular life were finding
an outlet for their emotions, for their joys and sorrows, in song and
in dance. This instinct for musical expression is universal, and just
because the products of such activity were unfettered by rules, they
exercised in process of time much influence upon the development of
modern style. Folk-songs are characterized by a freshness and
simplicity, a directness of utterance, which are seldom attained by
the conscious efforts of genius. "Listen carefully to all folk-songs,"
says Schumann. "They are a storehouse of beautiful melody, and unfold
to the mind the innate character of the different peoples." They are
like wild flowers blooming unheeded by the wayside, the product of the
race rather than the individual, and for centuries were only slightly
known to cultivated musicians. It should be understood that words and
music were inextricably bound together and that, with both, dancing
was naturally associated; the very essence of a people's life being
expressed by this tripartite activity. Tonal variety is a marked
feature in folk-songs, many of them being in the old Gregorian modes,
while others show a decided inclination to our modern major and minor
scales. Great is the historical importance of Folk-music, because in
it we see a dawning recognition of the principles of instrumental
form, _i.e._, the need of balanced phrases, caused in the songs by the
metrical structure of the words, and in the dances by the symmetrical
movements of the body; a recognition above all, of the application of
a definite system of tonal-centres, and of repetition after contrast.
In fact, as we look back it is evident that the outlines of our most
important design, that known as the Sonata Form are--in a rudimentary
state--found in folk-music. Folk-melodies and rhythms play a large
part in the music of Haydn, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Grieg,
Tchaikowsky and Dvo[vr]ák. It seems as if modern composers were doing
for music what Luther Burbank has done for plant life; for by grafting
modern thought and feeling on to the parent stock of popular music,
they have secured a vigor attainable in no other way. Thus some of the
noblest melodies of Brahms, Grieg, and Tchaikowsky are actual
folk-tunes with slight variation or original melodies conceived in a
folk-song spirit.[22]

[Footnote 21: For an eloquent presentation of the significance of
Folk-music see the article by Henry F. Gilbert in the _Musical
Quarterly_ for October, 1917.]

[Footnote 22: For an able account of the important role that
folk-melodies are taking in modern music see Chapter V of _La Chanson
Populaire en France_ by Julian Tiersot.]

As music, unlike the other arts, lacks any model in the realm of
nature, it has had to work out its own laws, and its spontaneity and
directness are the result. It has not become imitative, utilitarian or
bound by arbitrary conventions. As Berlioz says in the _Grotesques de
la Musique_: "Music exists by itself; it has no need of poetry, and if
every human language were to perish, it would be none the less the
most poetic, the grandest and the freest of all the arts." When we
reach the centuries in which definite records are available, we find a
wealth of folk-songs from the Continental nations: Irish, Scotch,
English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, etc.[23] In these
we can trace the transition from the old modes to our modern major and
minor scales; the principles of tonality and of rudimentary
modulation, the dividing of the musical thought into periodic lengths
by means of cadential endings, the instinct for contrast and for the
unity gained by restatement. No better definition of Folk-songs can be
given than that of Parry in his _Evolution of the Art of Music_ where
he calls them "the first essays made by man in distributing his notes
so as to express his feelings in terms of design." In folk-tunes this
design has been dominated by the metrical phraseology of the poetic
stanzas with which they were associated; for between the structure of
melody and that of poetry there is always a close correspondence. In
Folk-songs, therefore, we find a growing instinct for balanced musical
expression and, above all, an application of the principle of
Restatement after Contrast. The following example drawn from Irish
Folk-music[24]--which, for emotional depth, is justly considered the
finest in the world--will make the point clear.

[Music: THE FLIGHT OF THE EARLS]

[Footnote 23: The same statement is true of the Oriental nations, the
Arabians, Persians and Greeks, who are left out of the enumeration
only because their development in many respects has been along
different lines from ours. For suggestive speculations as to early
music among all nations see _Primitive Music_ by Richard Wallaschek.]

[Footnote 24: For illuminating comments on the Folk-music of all the
English-speaking peoples see Chapter XII of Ernest Walker's _History
of Music in England_. The famous Petrie collection of Irish Folk-tunes
should also be consulted.]

The statement is sometimes made that the principles of our modern
system of tonality and of modulation are derived from Folk-music. This
is only partially true, for pure Folk-songs always developed under the
influence of the old medieval modes, long before the establishment of
our fixed major and minor scales. Furthermore, as these were single
unaccompanied melodies, they showed slight connection with modulation
or change of key in the modern sense of the term--which implies a
system of harmonization in several voices. It is true that there was
an instinctive and growing recognition of the importance of the three
chief tonal centres: the Tonic or Keynote, the Dominant (a perfect
fifth _above_) and the Subdominant (a perfect fifth _below_) and at
times the relative minor. All these changes are illustrated in the
melody just cited; _e.g._, in the fourth measure[25] there is an
implication of E minor, in measures seven and eight there is a
distinct modulation to D major, the Dominant, and in the ninth measure
to C major, the Subdominant. This acceptance of other tonal
centres--distant a fifth from the main key-note--doubtless arose from
their simplicity and naturalness, and was later sanctioned by
acoustical law; the interval of a perfect fifth having one of the
simplest ratios (2-3), and being familiar to people as the first
overtone (after the octave) struck off by any sounding body--such as a
bell or an organ pipe. The Venetian composers, notably Willaert, had
also quite fully developed this principle of Tonic, Dominant and
Subdominant harmony in order to give homogeneity to their antiphonal
choruses. Even to-day these tonal centres are still used; for they are
elemental, like the primitive colors of the spectroscope. But
modulation, in the modern sense of a free shifting of the centre of
gravity to _any one_ of the twelve semitones of our chromatic scale,
was not developed and accepted until after the acoustical reforms of
Rameau, and the system of tuning keyed instruments embodied in that
work called the _Well-tempered Clavichord_ of Sebastian Bach. Both
these men published their discoveries about the year 1720.

[Footnote 25: In counting the measures of a phrase always consider the
first _complete_ measure,--_never_ a partial measure--as _one_.]

As we have just used the term _modal_, and since many Folk-songs in
the old modes sound peculiar or even wrong (hence the preposterous
emendations of modern editors!) because our ears can listen only in
terms of the fixed major and minor scales, a few words of explanation
concerning the nature of the medieval modes should here be given.
Their essential peculiarity is the freer relationship of tones and
semitones than is found in the definite pattern of our modern scales.
It is of great importance that the music-lover should train himself to
think naturally in these modes; for there has been a significant
return to their freedom and variety on the part of such modern
composers as Brahms, Tchaikowsky, Dvo[vr]ák, d'Indy, Debussy and
others, and some of their most individual effects are gained through
the introduction of modal types of expression. The following modes are
those most commonly employed in the formation of Folk-songs.

[Music: DORIAN]

[Music: PHRYGIAN]

[Music: LYDIAN]

[Music: MIXOLYDIAN]

[Music: AEOLIAN]

[Music: IONIAN]

The Dorian mode, at the outset, is identical with our modern minor
scale; its peculiarity lies in the _semitone_ between the 6th and 7th
degrees and the _whole_ tone between the 7th and 8th. An excellent
example of a modern adaptation of this mode may be found in Guilmant's
March for organ (see Supplement, Example No. 7). The mysterious
opening measures of Debussy's opera _Pelléas et Mélisande_ also owe
their atmosphere to this mode, _e.g._

[Music]

The Phrygian mode is one of the most individual to our modern ears
with its first step a _semitone_ and with the _whole_ tone between the
7th and 8th degrees. Under the influence of harmonic development there
was worked out a cadence, known as Phrygian, which is often found in
modern music, _e.g._

[Music]

The opening measures of the slow movement of Brahms's _Fourth
Symphony_ are an excellent example of a melody in the Phrygian mode,
_e.g._

[Music]

The contrast between these measures, with their archaic flavor, and
the sudden change in measure four to the modern tonality of E major,
is very striking. Bach's well-known choral, _O Sacred Head now
wounded_ also begins in the Phrygian mode, _e.g._

[Music]

For a beautiful modern example of this Phrygian mode see the
introduction to F.S. Converse's _Dramatic Poem Job_, for voices and
orchestra.

The Lydian mode is identical with our major scale except for the
semitone between the 4th and 5th degrees. That this change, however,
gives a very characteristic effect may be seen in the passage by
Beethoven from his String-Quartet op. 132--_Song of Thanksgiving_ in
the Lydian mode (see Supplement Ex. No. 8). The Mixolydian mode is
also identical with our modern major scale except for the _whole_ tone
between the 7th and 8th degrees. This mode has had very slight usage
in modern music; because, with the development of harmony,[26] the
instinct became so strong for a leading tone (the 7th degree)--only a
semitone distant from the upper tonic--that the original whole tone
has gradually disappeared. The Aeolian Mode, mainly identical with our
customary minor scale, has the characteristic whole tone between the
7th and 8th degrees. Examples of this mode abound in modern
literature; two excellent instances being the first theme of the
Finale of Dvo[vr]ák's _New World Symphony_, _e.g._,

[Music]

and the following passage from the _Legend_ for à capella voices of
Tchaikowsky, _e.g._

[Music]

The Ionian mode corresponds exactly with our modern major scale, and
the common people among all nations early showed a strong predilection
for its use. The Church, in fact, because of this popularity with the
people, named it the "modus lascivus" and prohibited its use in the
ecclesiastical liturgy. One of the very earliest Folk-tunes
extant--"Sumer is icumen in" (already referred to)--is in the Ionian
mode and, according to Cecil Sharp,[27] the majority of English
Folk-tunes are in this same mode.

[Footnote 26: The chief reason for this leading tone, in addition to
the natural tendency of singers to raise their voices as near as
possible to the upper tonic, was so that the dominant chord, the third
of which is always the 7th degree, might invariably be a _Major_
Triad.]

[Footnote 27: For many suggestive comments on the whole subject see
his book _English Folk-Song_.]

We now cite a few typical folk-songs (taken from national sources)
which, in their structure, show a natural instinct for balance of
phrase and oftentimes for that organic unity of effect gained by
restatement after contrast.

[Music: THE TRUE LOVERS' FAREWELL

Old English]

The pattern of this song, in the Aeolian mode, is A, A, A, B. Unity is
secured by the three-fold appearance of the first phrase; and a
certain balance, by having the second phrase B twice as long (four
measures) as A.

[Music: THE SHIP IN DISTRESS

Old English]

The formula of this characteristic song in the Dorian mode is A, A, B,
A; merely an extension, through repetition, of the simple type A, B, A
which, in turn, is the basis of the fundamental structure known as the
three-part form. This will later be studied in detail. It is evident
to the musical sense how complete a feeling of coherence is gained by
the return to A after the intervening contrast of the phrase B;
evident, also, that this song is a perfect example of the principle of
unity combined with variety.

We further cite a few examples from Scottish, Irish, French, Hungarian
and Russian sources. They all illustrate quaint melodic intervals and
an instinct for balance and symmetry.

[Music: WANDERING WILLIE

    Here awa', there awa', Wanderin' Willie,
    Here awa', there awa', haud awa' hame.
    Come to my bosom, my ain only dearie,
    O tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.]

This song[28] expresses that note of pathos often found in Scottish
folk-music and is noteworthy also because the lyric poet, Robert
Burns, wrote for it words of which we give the first stanza.

[Footnote 28: The example quoted, together with others equally
beautiful, may be found in the collection edited by the Scottish
composer, Hamish MacCunn. See, as well, the _Cycle of Old Scotch
Melodies_ arranged for four solo voices with pianoforte accompaniment
by Arthur Whiting.]

[Music: WOULD GOD I WERE THE TENDER APPLE BLOSSOM]

This Irish tune[29] is certainly one of the most perfect that can be
imagined, remarkable alike for its organic unity, gained by the
frequent use of the first ascending motive, and for the manner in
which the successive crises are reached. Note in particular the
intensity of the final climax, in measure 13, attained by a repetition
of the preceding phrase.

[Footnote 29: For Irish folk-songs the best collections are the one by
Villiers Stanford and a _Cycle_ by Arthur Whiting, prepared in the
same way as that just cited on Scottish melodies.]

[Music: EN PASSANT PAR LA LORRAINE AVEC MES SABOTS]

This charming song[30] from Lorraine exemplifies that rhythmic
vivacity and lightness of touch so characteristic of the French.

[Footnote 30: Taken from an excellent collection of _Chansons
Populaires_ edited by Julien Tiersot.]

Observe the piquant effect, in the final phrase, produced by the
elision of a measure; there being in the whole song 31 measures
instead of the normal 32 (16 + 16).

[Music: Old Hungarian Folk-song]

Hungarian folk-music[31] is noted for its syncopated rhythm and its
peculiar metric groupings. It is also often highly embroidered with
chromatic notes; the Hungarian scale, with _two_ augmented intervals,
being an intensification of our minor mode, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 31: The best popular collection of Hungarian melodies is
that by Francis Korbay, the texts for which were translated and
arranged by the American novelist, J.S. of Dale. It is well known what
artistic use has been made of Hungarian melodies and rhythms by
Schubert, Liszt and Brahms.]

Russia is fortunate in her musical inheritance; for not only has she a
wealth of folk-songs, but her famous composers, Balakireff, Borodin
and Rimsky-Korsakoff--who are men of letters as well--have published
remarkable editions of these national melodies. The Russian folk-songs
express, in general, a mood of sombreness or even depression--typical
of the vast, bleak expanses of that country, and of its downtrodden
people. These songs are usually in the minor mode--often with sudden
changes of rhythm--and based on the old ecclesiastical modes, the
Russian liturgy being very ancient and having an historical connection
with that of the Greek church. The folk-music of no nation is more
endowed with individuality and depth of emotion. Five characteristic
examples are herewith cited:

[Music: I]

[Music: II]

[Music: III Harmonized by RIMSKY-KORSAKOFF]

[Music: IV]

[Music: V]

This last melody is of particular significance, because Tchaikowsky
has used it so prominently in the Finale of his Fourth Symphony.

The growing interest in folk-music in America is a tendency concerning
which the progressive student should inform himself. For a national
basis of creative work, our country has always been at a disadvantage
in comparison with nations which, as their birthright, have much music
in their blood. Moreover, with the exception of the tunes of the
aboriginal Indians and the plantation melodies of the Negroes, it has
been asserted that America could boast no folk-songs. Recent
investigations have shown, however, that this is not entirely true.
Cecil Sharp, Henry Gilbert, Arthur Farwell and other musical scholars
have proved that there are several regions of our country, settled by
colonists from England, Ireland and Scotland, where folk-songs exist
practically in the condition in which they were first brought over.
One of the best collections of such material is the set of so-called
_Lonesome Tunes from the Kentucky Mountains_, taken down by Miss
Lorraine Wyman and Mr. Howard Brockway directly from the mountaineers
and other dwellers in that region. These melodies have great
individuality, directness and no little poetic charm. It is certainly
encouraging to feel that, in this industrial age, there are still
places where people express their emotions and ideals in song; for a
nation that has not learned to sing--or has forgotten how--can never
create music that endures.




CHAPTER III

POLYPHONIC MUSIC; SEBASTIAN BACH


We have traced, in the preceding chapter, some of the fundamental
principles of design in musical expression, as they were manifested in
the Folk-music of the different nations. All music of this type was
homophonic, _i.e._, a single melodic line, either entirely
unaccompanied or with a slight amount of instrumental support. Hence
however perfect in itself, it was necessarily limited in scope and in
opportunity for organic development. Before music could become an
independent art, set free from reliance on poetry, and could attain to
a breadth of expression commensurate with the growth in other fields
of art, there had to be established some principle of development, far
more extensive than could be found in Folk-music. This principle[32]
of "Thematic Development"--the chief idiom of instrumental music--by
which a motive or a theme is expanded into a large symphonic movement,
was worked out in that type of music known as the Polyphonic or
many-voiced; and Polyphonic music became, in turn, the point of
departure for our modern system of harmony, with its methods of key
relationship and of modulation. As we have stated in Chapter I, the
principle of systematic repetition or imitation--first discovered and
partially applied by the musicians[33] of the early French School and
by the Netherland masters--finally culminated in the celebrated vocal
works (à capella or unaccompanied) composed by Palestrina and his
contemporaries for the Roman Catholic Liturgy. Up to this point the
whole texture of music had been conceived in connection with voices;
but with the development of the organ, so admirably suited for
polyphonic style, and the perfection of the family of stringed
instruments, the principles of polyphony were carried over and applied
to instrumental treatment. The composer who, through his constructive
genius, most fully embodied these principles[34] was John Sebastian
Bach (1685-1750). We are now prepared to explain the characteristics
of polyphonic music and then to analyze some typical examples from
Bach and other polyphonic composers. The essential difference between
homophonic and polyphonic style is implied by the terms themselves.
When there is but one melody, the skill of the composer and the
attention of the listener are concentrated upon this single melodic
line; and even if there be an accompaniment, it is so planned that the
chief melody stands out in relief against it. The pre-eminence of this
chief melody is seldom usurped, although the accompaniment often has
interesting features of its own. As soon as we have more than one
melody (whether there be two, three or still others) all these
voice-parts may be of coequal importance, and the musical fabric
becomes an interwoven texture of a number of strands. The genius and
skill of the composer is now expended on securing life and interest
for each of these voices--soprano, alto, tenor, bass--which seem to be
braided together; and thus a much more comprehensive attention is
required of the listener. For instead of the single melody in the
soprano, or upper voice, of the Folk-song, we now must listen
consciously to the bass and to both of the inner voices.[35] Too much
emphasis cannot be laid upon the recommendation that, in appreciating
music, the first task is to train the ear to a wide range of
listening. These differences in style are often apparent just as a
pattern of design--to be seen from the following examples:

[Music: Homophonic Style. Irish Folk-Song]

[Music: Polyphonic Style. BACH: Fugue in C Minor]

[Footnote 32: The statement might be qualified by saying that, since
Beethoven, instrumental style has become a happy mixture of homophony
for the chief melodies and polyphony for the supporting harmonic
basis. Stress is laid in the above text on the polyphonic aspect
merely to emphasize the matter under discussion.]

[Footnote 33: Notable names are Léonin and Pérotin, both organists of
Nôtre Dame at Paris.]

[Footnote 34: Although this is not the place to set forth all the
details of this development, in the interest of historical justice we
should not think of Bach without gratefully acknowledging the
remarkable work of such pioneers as the Dutchman, Sweelinck
(1562-1621), organist at Amsterdam; the Italian, Frescobaldi
(1583-1644), organist at Rome, and--greatest of all, in his
stimulating influence upon Bach--the Dane, Buxtehude (1636-1707),
organist at Lübeck. Sweelinck and Frescobaldi may fairly be called the
founders of the genuine Fugue, and there is a romantic warmth in
Buxtehude's best work which makes it thoroughly modern in sentiment.]

[Footnote 35: In connection with the statement that music has
developed according to natural law, it is worth noting that the
four-part chorus early became the standard for both vocal and
instrumental groups for the simple reason that there exist two kinds
of women's voices--soprano and alto, and two of men's voices--tenor
and bass. Originally, the chief voice in the ecclesiastical chorus was
the tenor (teneo), because the tenors _sustained_ the melody. Below
them were the basses (bassus, low); above the tenors came the altos
(altus, high) and still higher the sopranos (sopra, above).]

In the latter example it is evident that there is an interweaving of
_three_ distinct melodic lines.

The polyphonic instrumental works of Bach and his contemporaries were
called by such names as Preludes, Fugues, Canons, Inventions, Toccatas
and Fantasies; but since a complete account of all these forms would
lead too far afield, we shall confine ourselves to a description of
the Canon, the Invention and the Fugue. A Canon (from the Greek
[Greek: Kanôn], meaning a strict rule or law) is a composition in
which there is a _literal_ systematic imitation, carried out to the
end, between two or more of the voices (often with subsidiary voices
filling in), and may be considered a kind of musical dialogue in which
the second, or answering, part reënforces the message previously
uttered by the leading voice. This imitation may take place at any
degree of separation; and Canons are in existence at the interval of
the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. The most effective Canons,
however, are those in which the answering voice is an octave away from
the leading one. Although the Canon is not a form employed frequently
by modern composers for an entire composition, Canonic imitation
appears so often in all large works for orchestra, string quartet or
ensemble combinations, that the music-lover should acquire a certain
ease in listening to a structure of this type. The Canon, moreover, is
an integral factor in the style of César Franck, d'Indy and Brahms;
and illustrations of its use abound in their works. The organ is
particularly well suited to the rendition of Canons; since, by its
facilities for tone-color, the two voices may be clearly contrasted.
Those interested in organ literature should become acquainted with the
following excellent examples: The _Canon in B-flat major_, op. 40, by
Guilmant; the 4th movement of the _Fifth Organ Symphony_ by Widor; the
Canon in B minor, op. 54, by Schumann; the _Canon in F-sharp major_,
op. 30, by Merkel, and the set of _Ten Canonic studies_, op. 12, by
G.W. Chadwick. In other fields of composition the following should be
cited: The set of _Pianoforte Pieces in Canon form_, op. 35, by
Jadassohn; a like set by Rheinberger, op. 180; the _Canonic Vocal
Trios_, op. 156, by Reinecke and the famous Canon from the first act
of Beethoven's opera _Fidelio_. There is also a beautiful bit of
Canonic imitation between two of the upper voices in the introduction
of Berlioz's _Carnaval Romain Overture_ for orchestra. One of the most
appealing Canons in modern literature is the setting for soprano and
barytone, by Henschel, of the poem _Oh that we two were Maying_ by
Charles Kingsley. This example alone would sufficiently corroborate
the statement that the firmness of structure inherent in the canonic
form is perfectly compatible with genuine freedom and poetry of
inspiration. In the first movement of César Frank's _Symphony in D
minor_, at the recapitulation (page 39 of the full score) may be found
a magnificent example of the intensity of effect gained by a canonic
imitation of the main theme--in this instance between the lower and
upper voices. Possibly the finest example of canonic writing in all
literature is the Finale of César Franck's _Sonata in A major_ for
Violin and Pianoforte in which, for several pages, there is an
eloquent dialogue between the two contrasting instruments. The
movement is too long for citation but it should certainly be procured
and studied. In the Trio of the Scherzo in Beethoven's _Seventh Sonata
for Violin and Pianoforte_ there is a free use of canonic imitation
which will repay investigation. Lastly, the _Aria with 30
Variations_--the so-called _Goldberg Variations_ of Bach--is a perfect
storehouse of every conceivable canonic device.

A few standard examples are to be found in the Supplement. These
should be played over and studied until they are thoroughly
familiar--not only for the pleasure to be derived, but for the
indispensable training afforded in polyphonic listening.

Ex. No. 9 Canon by Thomas Tallys (1510-1585).

Ex. No. 10 Canonic Variation by Schumann from the _Études
Symphoniques_.

Ex. No. 11 of Bach's _Goldberg Variations_.

Ex. No. 12 Canon in B-flat minor, op. 38, Grieg.

Ex. No. 13 Canon in F-sharp major, op. 35, Jadassohn.

One of the most simple and direct types of polyphonic composition is
the form known as the _Invention_ in which, as the term implies, the
composer--through his _inventive genius_ and by means of the
polyphonic devices of imitation and transposition--develops to a
logical conclusion some short and characteristic motive. We are
fortunate in having from Bach himself, that consummate master of
polyphony, two sets of such Inventions: fifteen for two voices, and
fifteen for three. These flights of fancy--in which art so subtly
conceals art--though originally composed for the clavichord and
harpsichord (the precursors of the pianoforte), are very effective on
our modern instrument and should be in the possession of every
music-student.[36] A brief analysis is now given of the first one in
the set for two voices, and Nos. 4, 8 and 10 in this set are
particularly recommended for study; also Nos. 2, 6 and 14 among those
for three voices. The opening motive

[Music]

is the foundation of the entire composition and is at once imitated,
canonically, in the lower voice. Then the two voices play about, with
figures clearly derived from the motive, until we reach, in measures
three and four, a systematic downward transposition of the material.
Such transpositions or shiftings up or down in pitch are called
_Sequences_. They are very frequent in all polyphonic composition,
give a strong sense of unity to melodic progression and are generally
carried out in groups of three, _i.e._, the original figure and two
repetitions. After the sequence the music naturally works toward the
most nearly related key (the dominant) and in the seventh measure
reaches in that key its first objective. These Inventions of Bach, as
well as the Dance forms soon to be studied, are almost invariably in
what is known as _Two-part_ form, _i.e._, the music consists of two
main divisions, clearly marked off by cadences[37]; the first of which
modulates to the dominant or some related key while the second part,
starting in this key, works back to a final close in the home key. In
Inventions it early became customary in the second part to begin with
the same motive as the first--but in the _opposite_ voice. Thus we
see, in the Invention now being discussed, that the seventh measure
begins with the original motive in the bass which, in turn, is
imitated by the Soprano--a process just the reverse of that in the
opening measures.

[Footnote 36: The best edition is that by Busoni, published by
Breitkopf and Härtel.]

[Footnote 37: This technical term as well as others will later be more
fully explained.]

[Music]

In pieces in this Two-part form the second portion is generally longer
than the first; for the composer, by the time he has reached this
second part, may consider the material sufficiently familiar to be
expanded and varied by excursions into more remote keys, and by more
intricate manipulations of the chief motive. In measure 11 we find a
modulation to D minor and then, after some free treatment of the
motive, we reach--in measure 15--a cadence in A minor. A long
sequential passage brings us, through a modulation to the subdominant
key of F major (in measures 18 and 19), to a strong closing cadence in
the home key. It should be noticed that in this Invention and in some
of the dance forms there is shown a strong leaning towards a
tripartite division of the material as is indicated by the _three_
cadences in measures 7, 15 and 22. Since, however, the middle part is
lacking in any strong _contrast_--which is such an essential factor in
the fully developed three-part form--it seems better to consider this
piece, and others like it, as a tendency rather than as a complete
embodiment of tripartite arrangement. It is expected that the music
lover will take these Inventions for what they really are and not
search in them for those notes of intense subjectivity and dramatic
power so prevalent in modern music. They are merely little pieces--a
"tour de force" in polyphonic ingenuity; music rejoicing in its own
inherent vitality. Accepted in this spirit they are invigorating and
charming.

The form in which polyphonic skill reaches its highest possibilities
is the Fugue; and the immortal examples of this form are the Fugues of
John Sebastian Bach, found in his _Well-tempered Clavichord_ and in
his mighty works for the organ. The fundamental structure of a fugue
is implied in the term itself (from the Latin "fuga"--flight); that
is, in a fugue the main theme or subject is always announced in a
single voice, and the remaining voices, appearing successively in
accordance with definite principles of key-relationship, seem to chase
each other about and to flee from pursuit. The several stratified
entrances of the subject are relieved by intermediate passages called
"Episodes." An Episode, as shown by the derivation ([Greek: ipi
hodos], by the way), is something off the beaten path--a digression;
and it is in these episodical portions of a fugue rather than in the
formalistic portions that the genius of the composer shines forth.
This is especially true of Bach, for almost any well-trained musician
can invent a subject which will allow of satisfactory fugal treatment
according to accepted usage; but no one save Bach has ever invented
such free and fanciful episodes--so daring in scope and yet so closely
connected with the main thought. The general effect of a fugue is
_cumulative_: a massing and piling up of voices that lead to a
carefully designed conclusion which, in some of Bach's organ fugues,
is positively overwhelming. A fugue may be called a mighty crescendo,
like the sound of many waters. There is a popular conception, or
rather _mis_conception, that a fugue is a labored, dull or even "dry"
form of composition, meant only as an exhibition of pedantic skill,
and quite beyond the reach of ordinary musical appreciation. Nothing
is farther from the truth, as a slight examination of musical
literature will show. For we see that the fugal form has been used to
express well-nigh every form of human emotion, the sublime, the
tragic, the romantic; very often the humorous and the fantastic. When
we recall the irresistible sparkle and dash of Mozart's _Magic Flute
Overture_, of the Overture to the _Bartered Bride_ by Smetana, of the
Finale of Mozart's _Jupiter Symphony_, and of many of the fugues in
the _Well-tempered Clavichord_, it is evident that to call a fugue
"dry" is an utter abuse of language. It is true that there are weak,
artificial and dull fugues, where the composer--frankly--had nothing
to say and merely filled out the form; but the same may be said of
every type of composition, _i.e._, among them all are examples
inspired and--less inspired. This, however, is no indictment of the
fugue _per se_, against which the only thing to be said is that it
requires on the part of the listener an exceeding concentration. Some
of the masterpieces of the world being wholly or partially in the
fugal form, it is the duty of those listening to polyphonic music to
train their powers to the same seriousness of attention expected and
freely given in the appreciation of an oration, a drama or a
cathedral. These latter manifestations of artistic expression, to be
sure, are less abstract than the fugue and more closely related to
daily life. Yet no effort is more repaying than the mental and
emotional energy expended in listening to the interweavings of a good
fugue; for, conscious of missing the periodic divisions of the
Folk-song, we have to listen to more than one melody at a time. A
fugue being a composition, as the French say, of "longue haleine,"
our attention, in order to follow its structure, must be on the "qui
vive" every moment. The fugue, in fact, is an example of the intricate
and yet organic complexity found in all the higher forms of life
itself; and whenever a composer has wished to dwell with emphasis on a
particular theme, he almost invariably resorts to some form of fugal
treatment, strict or free. The most effective media for rendering
fugues are the chorus of mixed voices, the organ (by reason of its
pedal key-board always making the subject in the bass stand out
majestically) and the stringed orchestra which, with the "bite" of the
strings, brings out--with peculiar sharpness--the different entrances
of the subject. The student should become familiar with standard
examples in each of these classes and should, above all, seek
opportunity to hear some of the organ fugues of Bach performed on a
really fine instrument. A few well-known fugues are herewith cited in
order to stimulate the student to some investigation of his own. In
all the Oratorios of Handel and in the choral works of Bach, such as
the B minor Mass, may be found magnificent fugues--as free and vital
in their rhythmic swing as the ocean itself. Particular attention
should be called to the fugue in the Messiah "And by His stripes we
were healed [Transcriber's Note: And with His stripes we are healed]."
One of the most impressive fugues in modern literature is the à
capella chorus _Urbs Syon Unica_ from H.W. Parker's _Hora Novissima_.
From among the organ works of Bach everyone should know the Fugues in
G minor, in A minor, in D major[38] and the Toccata and Fugue in D
minor. These have all been transcribed for the pianoforte by Liszt and
so are readily available; they are often played at pianoforte recitals
by Paderewski and other virtuosi. In hearing one of these masterpieces
no one can remain unmoved or can fail to reverence the constructive
genius which fashioned such cathedrals in tone. For orchestra we have
the Prelude to Puccini's opera _Madama Butterfly_, and the beginning
of the Prelude to the third act of Wagner's _Mastersingers_. There are
striking fugal passages in Beethoven's Symphonies, _e.g._, the first
movement of the _Heroic Symphony_ and the rollicking Trio of the
Scherzo in the _Fifth Symphony_. In more modern literature there is
the fugal Finale to Arthur Foote's _Suite for Orchestra_ and in
Chadwick's _Vagrom Ballad_ a humorous quotation of the theme from
Bach's _G minor Fugue_ for organ. One of the most superb fugues in
free style is the last movement of César Franck's _Prelude, Choral and
Fugue in B minor_ for Pianoforte. This movement alone would refute
all charges of dullness or dryness brought against the fugue by the
unthinking or the unenlightened. A good fugue, in fact, is so full of
vitality and demands such _active_ comprehension[39] on the part of
the listener that it is not difficult to imagine where the dullness
and dryness are generally found.

[Footnote 38: Whenever Percy Grainger performs this fugue in his own
arrangement for pianoforte, he always electrifies an audience.]

[Footnote 39: It is worthy of observation that, for those who will
listen to them intelligently, fugues do not merely demand such a state
of mind but actually _generate_ it.]

At this point by an analysis of a fugue from the _Well-tempered
Clavichord_, let us explain some of the technical features in fugal
structure. We shall then be in a position to understand the more
subtle devices of fugal treatment and to appreciate more
enthusiastically some additional comments upon Bach's style in
general.


FUGUE IN E-FLAT MAJOR, NO. VII, IN THE FIRST BOOK.

[Music: Subject

Counter-subject

Answer]

This fugue in three voices begins with a graceful subject, announced
in the upper voice. In the third measure this is answered by an
imitation of the subject in the alto; while the opening voice
continues with a contrasting part called the counter-subject.[40] As
the whole subsequent fabric is organically derived from these two
motives, both subject and counter-subject should be played frequently
and so committed to memory. Observe also the contrasts in rhythm and
melodic outline between the subject and counter-subject. In measures
4 and 5 we have a short sequential passage leading, in measure 6, to
the third entry of the subject in the bass. Then after another
sequential passage, which includes an emphatic assertion of the
subject in the soprano (measures 11 and 12), we enter upon a long
episode which leads, at measure 17, to our first objective point of
rest--a cadence in C minor. With the entry, in this measure, of the
subject in the alto we have an interesting example of what is termed
"shifted rhythm;" the subject beginning on the third beat instead of
the first, as at the outset. In the middle portion of the fugue we
have two appearances of the subject in the related keys of C minor
(measures 17 and 18) and G minor (measures 20 and 21). Then, following
two very vigorous sequences, a modulatory return is made to the
subject in the home key, and with its normal rhythm at measure 26. A
repetition, in more brilliant form, of one of the previous episodes,
in measures 31 and 32, gives a strong impression of unity; leading in
measures 34 and 35 to a last appearance of the subject, with a
beautiful change in one of the intervals (E-flat-G-flat). The closing
measures establish the main tonality of E-flat major, rendered still
more expressive by the counterpoint associated with the last chord. As
to the general structure of this fugue, it is evidently tripartite,
the first part A presenting the material, the second part B affording
variety by modulating into different keys, and the third part A´
reasserting the material of A and bringing the composition to a
logical close in the home key. (See Supplement Ex. No. 15.)

[Footnote 40: It is left to the teacher to explain to the student the
key-relationship of Subject and Answer, and the difference between
fugues, tonal and real; for as these points have rather more to do
with composition they play but a slight part in listening to a fugue.]

We should now acquaint ourselves with the more subtle devices of fugal
treatment; although but one of these is employed in the fugue just
studied, which is comparatively simple in structure. I. Inversion; the
melodic outline is turned upside down while identity is retained by
means of the rhythm, _e.g._

[Music: BACH: 3rd English Suite

Theme

Inversion]

An excellent example from an orchestral work is the theme of the third
movement of Brahms's _C minor Symphony_, the second phrase of which is
an Inversion of the opening measures, _e.g._

[Music: Inversion]

II. Augmentation and Diminution; the length of the notes is doubled or
halved while their metrical relativity is maintained, _e.g._

[Music: BACH: Fugue No. 8, Book I

Theme

Augmentation]

[Music: BACH: Fugue No. IX, Book II

Theme

Diminution]

Augmentation is very frequent in modern literature when a composer, by
lengthening out the phraseology of a theme, wishes to gain for it
additional emphasis. Excellent examples are the closing measures of
Schumann's _Arabesque_, in which the reminiscence of the original
motto is most haunting, _e.g._,

[Music: Motto]

[Music: Motto augmented]

the Finale of Liszt's _Faust Symphony_, where the love theme of the
Gretchen movement is carried over and intoned by a solo baritone with
impressive effect, _e.g._

[Music]

[Music: In augmentation

_Das ewig Weibliche_]

III. Shifted Rhythm; the position of the subject in the measure is so
changed that the accents fall on different beats, _e.g._

[Music: BACH: Fugue No. V, Book II

Subject

Shifted]

IV. Stretto; (from the Italian verb "stringere," to draw close) that
portion of a fugue, often the climax, where the entrances are
_crowded_ together, _i.e._, the imitating voice enters before the
leading voice has finished, _e.g._

[Music: _Fuga giocosa_, J.K. PAINE, op. 41

Subject]

The effect is obviously one of great concentration and dramatic
intensity--with a sense of impending climax--and its use is by no
means limited to fugal composition; being frequently found in all
large symphonic works of the classic and modern school. For a
magnificent example of the climactic effect produced by a Stretto,
witness the last part of Bach's Fugue in G major (see Supplement, Ex.
No. 16).

Although there is considerable complexity in any complete fugue, and
although it requires great concentration on the part of the listener,
we should avoid thinking of the form as mechanical in any derogatory
sense, but rather as a means to a definite artistic end. Certainly no
greater mistake can be made than that of considering Bach, the supreme
master of polyphonic writing, as too austere, too involved, for the
delight and edification of every-day mortals. Bach means brook, and
the name[41] is most appropriate; for Bach is a never ceasing stream
of musical life, the fountain-head from which spring the leading
tendencies of modern music. In these days when stress is laid on the
romantic element in music, on warm emotional appeal, it is well to
consider the quality so prevalent in Bach of spiritual vitality.
Exactly because the romantic element represents the human side of
music, it is subject to the whims of fashion and is liable to change
and decay. Bach carries us into the realm of universal ideas,
inexhaustible and changeless in their power to exalt. Schumann says
that "Music owes to Bach what a religion owes to its founder"; and it
is true that a knowledge of Bach is the beginning of musical wisdom.
By some, Bach is considered dry or too reserved for companionship with
ordinary human beings. Others carelessly assert that he has no melody.
Nothing can be further from the truth than these two misconceptions.
Bach surely is not dry, because his work abounds in such vitality of
rhythm. As Parry says, in his biography, "No composer ever attained to
anything approaching the spontaneity, freshness, and winsomeness of
his dances, such as the gavottes, bourrées, passepieds and gigues in
the suites; while many of his great choruses and instrumental fugues
are inspired with a force of rhythmic movement which thrills the
hearer with a feeling of being swept into space out of the range of
common things." The charge of a lack of melody is the same which used
to be brought against Wagner. Instead of there being no melody, it is
_all_ melody, so that the partially musical, who lack the power of
sustained attention, are drowned in the flood of melodic outpouring. A
strong claim, in fact, may be made for Bach as a _popular_ composer in
the best sense of the term. Many of his colossal works, to be sure,
are heard but seldom, for they require the most highly trained
executive ability. But if the average music-lover will become familiar
with the French and English Suites, with the Preludes and Fugues of
the _Well-tempered Clavichord_, with some of the Violin Sonatas, he
will find for his imagination and mental machinery a food which, once
enjoyed, becomes indispensable. For his music has that greatest of
qualities in art as in human relationships--it wears well and _lasts_.
We all know that books which reveal everything at a first reading are
soon thrown aside, and that people whose depth of character and
sweetness of disposition we discern but slowly, often become our
life-long friends. Music which is too easily heard is identical with
that which is immediately forgotten. The first impulse created by any
great work of art is our longing to know it better. Its next attribute
is its power to arouse and hold our steady affection. These
observations may be applied literally to Bach's music, which can be
heard for a lifetime, never losing its appeal but continually
unfolding new beauties. Furthermore, in Bach, we feel the force of a
great character even more than the artistic skill with which the
personality is revealed. In this respect Bach in music is quite on a
par with Shakespeare in literature and Michael Angelo in plastic art.
With many musicians, there is so disconcerting and inexplicable a
discrepancy between their deeds as men and the artistic thoughts for
which they seem to be the unconscious media, that it is inspiring to
come into touch with one who rings true as a man whatever demands are
made upon him; whose music is free from morbidity or carnal blemish,
as pure as the winter wind, as elemental as the ocean, as uplifting as
the stars. In Bach let us always remember the noble human traits; for
the universal regard in which his work is held could never have come
merely from profound skill in workmanship, but is due chiefly to the
manly sincerity and emotional depth which are found therein. The
revival of his works, for which the world owes to Mendelssohn such a
debt, has been the single strongest factor in the development of music
during the 19th century; and their influence[42] is by no means yet at
an end, as may be seen from the glowing tributes paid to him by such
modern composers as Franck, d'Indy and Debussy.[43]

[Footnote 41: Beethoven, commenting on the name, majestically said:
"He is no brook; he is the open sea!"]

[Footnote 42: For a very suggestive article on this point by Philip
Greeley Clapp see the Musical Quarterly for April, 1916.]

[Footnote 43: Some eloquent comments on Bach's style and significance
may be found in Chapter III of _The Appreciation of Music_ by Surette
and Mason.]

Two additional fugues are now given in the Supplement (see Nos. 17 and
18) for the consideration of the student: the _Cat-Fugue_ of Domenico
Scarlatti, with its fantastic subject (said to have been suggested by
the walking of a favorite cat on the key-board) and the _Fuga Giocosa_
of John Knowles Paine, (the subject of which is the well-known
street-tune "Rafferty's lost his pig"). This latter example is not
only a brilliant piece of fugal writing but a typical manifestation of
American humor.

Several eulogies of the fugue are to be found in literature; three of
the most famous are herewith appended.

    "Hist, but a word, fair and soft!
    Forth and be judged, Master Hugues!
    Answer the question I've put you so oft:
    What do you mean by your mountainous fugues?
    See, we're alone in the loft."

    --Browning, _Master Hugues of Saxe-Gotha_.

Throughout, a most fantastic description of fugal style.

         "Whence the sound
    Of instruments, that made melodious chime,
    Was heard, of harp and organ; and who mov'd
    Their stops and chords was seen; his volant touch
    Instinct through all proportions, low and high,
    Fled and pursued transverse the resonant fugue."

    --Milton, _Paradise Lost_, Book XI.

    "Then rose the agitation, spreading through the infinite
    cathedral to its agony; then was completed the passion of
    the mighty fugue. The golden tubes of the organ which as yet
    had but sobbed and muttered at intervals--gleaming amongst
    clouds and surges of incense--threw up, as from fountains
    unfathomable, columns of heart-shattering music. Choir and
    antichoir were filling fast with unknown voices. Thou also,
    Dying Trumpeter! with thy love which was victorious, and thy
    anguish that was finishing, didst enter the tumult; trumpet
    and echo--farewell love and farewell anguish--rang through
    the dreadful Sanctus."

    --From De Quincey's _Dream Fugue in the "Vision of Sudden
    Death_."

Truly a marvellous picture of the effect of a fugue in a great
medieval cathedral!




CHAPTER IV

THE MUSICAL SENTENCE


Before passing on to an explanation of the fundamental types of
musical structure, we must give some idea of the constituent parts of
the _Period_ in music. Every art has its units of expression: the
straight line, the curve, the arch, the poetic stanza and the prose
sentence. Just as poetry and prose are a series of stanzas or
sentences, so a musical composition is a succession of definitely
organized portions of thought and emotion, in terms of rhythm and
sound. In the heart of a composition, to be sure, we often find a
great freedom in the phraseology, comparable to blank verse or to a
rhapsodic kind of prose; but with few exceptions, such as a Fantasie,
every composition always _begins_ with one or two periods which, in
regard to subdivision, balance and directness of statement, are
carefully planned and are complete in themselves. Before it is
possible to follow intelligently the structure of a musical sentence
we must gain a clear idea of what is meant by the frequently used
terms Tonality and Modulation. Since the evolution and acceptance of
our three modern scales:[44] the major, the minor and the
chromatic--which gained their sanction chiefly through the
investigations and compositions of Bach and Rameau--every melody and
the accompanying harmony are said to be in a certain "tonality" (or
"key") which takes its name from the first tone of the scale in
question, _e.g._, C, E-flat, F sharp, etc. Hence this first tone is
called the Tonic or chief tone and from it ascend the other tones of
the scale. That is, a melody in E-flat major will employ only those
tones found in the scale of E-flat major, and is said to be in that
"key," or "tonality." The same would be true of the harmony involved,
_i.e._, the chords would consist of combinations of the different
tones of this scale. When a melody, as is often the case, employs
tones _not_ found in the scale in question, these are called
_chromatic_[45] changes, and may or may not effect a "modulation" or
departure into another key, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 44: It is assumed that the music-lover has, as his
birthright, an instinctive knowledge of the grouping of tones and
semitones in our modern scales. Those who may wish to refresh their
knowledge are recommended to the second Chapter in Foote and
Spalding's _Harmony_, and to the chapter on Scales in Parry's
_Evolution of the Art of Music_.]

[Footnote 45: Color in music is brought about chiefly through their
use.]

The most important means of gaining unity and coherence in a
composition is to have it written in a clearly defined tonality,
especially at the outset. This definite tonality is the "centre of
gravity," so to speak, about which the whole composition revolves. If
this tonal centre were uncertain or wandering, we should have a
feeling of vagueness and perplexity which, except for special dramatic
effect, is never found in works of the great composers. Thus we speak
of a Symphony in C minor, of a Quartet in F major and of a Sonata in
B-flat minor;[46] this foundation key being comparable to the basic
color-scheme of a painting. There is also a particular aesthetic
effect and color-appeal associated with each key; and the listener
should train himself to be sensitive to the brilliance of such keys as
D major and E major, the richness of B major, the dignity of E-flat
major, the almost cloying sweetness of D-flat major and of G-flat
major and the tragic depth of B minor and G minor. No piece, however,
should remain for long in the same key; for music cuts so deeply into
the consciousness that there would result an intolerable monotony.[47]
Even in the simplest folk-songs, therefore, we often find manifested
an instinct for those changes of tonal centre which are technically
called "Modulations." All the keys founded on the twelve semitones of
the chromatic scale are related--though in varying degrees of
closeness; and in modern music, no matter how complex the modulations
often sound, we may be sure that the composer plans them as carefully
as the painter adjusts his color-scheme. For definite acoustical[48]
and harmonic reasons, however, the keys most closely related to a
given tonal centre are those situated a perfect fifth above--the
Dominant; a perfect fifth below--the Subdominant; and the Relative
Minor, the key-note of which is a minor third below, _e.g._, A minor
in relation to C major, C minor to E-flat major. The relative minors
of the Dominant and Subdominant also bear a close relationship to a
given tonic; and into these _five_ keys is made a large majority of
the modulations in any piece of music.[49]

[Music:

Subdominant  Tonic     Dominant

Relative     Relative  Relative
Minor        Minor     Minor]

[Footnote 46: As for example the famous one of Chopin.]

[Footnote 47: Even great composers have at times made this mistake,
_e.g._, Mendelssohn in the first movement of the _Scotch Symphony_,
where the interminable length of the portion in A minor (of all keys!)
is simply deadening in its effect. Compare also the _Prelude to the
Rheingold_; where, however--for dramatic purposes--to depict the world
as "without form and void" Wagner remains in the key of E-flat major
for some 150 measures!]

[Footnote 48: It is left to the teacher to explain, by the ratios
found in the overtones of the Harmonic Series, the validity of this
statement.]

[Footnote 49: Some modern theorists, _e.g._, Calvacoressi (see the New
Music Review for September, 1909) have thought that the dominant
relationship was "overworked." It is true that the great charm of
modern music is its freedom and boldness in modulation; but the
dominant keys can never be entirely abandoned, for the relationship
between them and a tonic is as elemental as that between the colors of
the spectroscope.]

Beginning with Beethoven, a modulation into what are known as the
_mediant_ keys became frequent; and is, in fact, a favorite change in
all modern music--the mediant keys being those situated half-way
between a Tonic and Dominant or a Tonic and Subdominant, _e.g._

[Music: Sub-mediant Mediant]

Anyone at all familiar with Beethoven's style will remember how often
his second theme, instead of following the more conventional line of
dominant relationship, is in a mediant key. Good examples may be found
in the first movement of the _Waldstein Sonata_ and in the first and
last movements of the 8th Symphony. A little thought will make clear
that the relationships just set forth include nearly all the possible
ones save those of 2nds and 7ths. Even into these apparently distant
keys, _e.g._, to D-flat major or to B major from C major, modulations
may easily be made by means of the "enharmonic"[50] relationship found
in that frequently used modern chord--the Augmented Sixth, _e.g._

[Music: C major B major C major D-flat major]

[Footnote 50: Two tones are said to be "enharmonic" when, although
written differently, they sound the same on an instrument of fixed
temperament like the pianoforte, or organ, _e.g._, D-sharp and E-flat,
E and F-flat. A violin, however, can make a distinction between such
notes and often does.]

Next to rhythm, modulation is the most stimulating and enchanting
element in music. No composition of any scope can be considered truly
great unless it abounds in beautiful modulations. Certain composers,
to be sure, have in this respect more genius than others--notably
Schubert, Chopin, Wagner and Franck whose music seems to waft us along
on a magic carpet of delight. But just as Unity depends upon a
definite basic tonality, so Variety is gained by this very freedom of
modulation. Without it is monotony; with too much modulation, an
irritating restlessness. By the perfect balance in his works of these
two related elements a genius may be definitely recognized.

The simplest and on the whole most frequent type of musical sentence
or period consists of eight measures, subdivided into two balancing
phrases of four measures[51] each--the component parts plainly
indicated by various cadences and endings soon to be explained. These
four-measure phrases are often, though not invariably, still further
subdivided into two sections of two measures each. Let us now
corroborate these statements by an examination of the opening sentence
of the Scherzo of Beethoven's _Second Sonata for Pianoforte_. This
concise sentence is an epitome of the chief principles of organic
musical expression. At the outset[52] we see the leading motive, which
consists of an ascending broken chord twice repeated. We see also

[Music]

the first phrase of 4 measures and the second phrase[53] of similar
length, alike subdivided into two sections of 2 measures each. In the
third measure we find a modulation into the dominant key (indicated by
the D-sharp) and in the fourth measure a cadence with a feminine
ending in this key. The second--or after--phrase corresponds exactly
to what has gone before: we have the same repetition of the motive in
a different part of the scale; and finally, in the 8th measure, a
cadence in the home key, also with feminine ending.

[Footnote 51: This assertion holds for most of our Western European
music; though in Hungarian and Scotch music we find a natural fondness
for phrases of _three_ measures, and the Croatians are known for their
phrases of _five_ measures so often used by both Haydn and Schubert.
But it is true that we _tend_ to think in groups which are some
multiple of 2, _i.e._, either 4, 8, 12 or 16 measures.]

[Footnote 52: Always count the first _complete_ measure as _one_.]

[Footnote 53: The two phrases are often designated Thesis and
Antithesis.]

[Music]

When the sentence is played, it is evident how unsatisfactory would be
the effect if a complete stop were attempted at the 4th measure; and
how symmetrical and convincing is the impression when the eight
measures are considered an unbroken sweep of musical thought.[54]
There are, in fact, a few complete compositions in musical literature
which contain but a single sentence of eight measures. As an example
may be cited the song from Schumann's _Lieder Album für Jugend_, op.
79, No. 1. (See Supplement No. 19.) For purposes of practical
appreciation[55] it is enough to state that a cadence is an accepted
combination of chords (generally the tonic, dominant and subdominant)
which indicates that some objective, either temporary or final, has
been reached. When the dominant chord or any dominant harmony is
immediately followed by the tonic the cadence is called perfect or
final, and may be compared to a period in punctuation, _e.g._

[Music] [Music: CÉSAR FRANCK]

[Footnote 54: In listening to a clock it is impossible to think of the
ticks singly, or otherwise than in groups of two: an accented beat and
an unaccented; although the beats are of equal strength and duration.
This principle of dual balance is derived from the rhythmic pulsation
of the human heart and, as we shall see, runs through all music.]

[Footnote 55: Whenever this book is used in class, the teacher can
easily explain, on the pianoforte and by charts, the different
cadential effects. For those who have sufficient harmonic insight
Chapter XIV in Foote and Spalding's _Modern Harmony_ is worth
consulting.]

A reversal of this order produces what is called the half-cadence,
akin to the semicolon, _e.g._

[Music]

The union of the subdominant and tonic chords is known as the Plagal
Cadence, _e.g._,

[Music]

and always gives a feeling of religious dignity and impressiveness.
Magnificent examples may be found in the closing measures of Wagner's
Overture to the _Mastersingers_ and of Brahms' _First Symphony in C
minor_. In the final cadence of Debussy's humorous piece for
pianoforte, _Minstrels_, the effect is burlesqued, _e.g._

[Music]

When dominant harmony is followed by some unexpected chord we have the
so-called Deceptive Cadence, which is not unlike the mark of
interrogation (?) or even exclamation (!) _e.g._

[Music: WAGNER: _Overture to the Mastersingers_]

[Music: TCHAIKOWSKY: _5th Symphony_]

This last cadence gives an effect of dramatic surprise--certainly an
exclamation of great force. One of the glories of modern music is the
daring novelty of cadential effect which has been achieved by such
composers as Franck, Debussy and Ravel; the student should try to
become more and more familiar with such harmonic combinations. A
beautiful example[56] is cited from César Franck's _Sonata for Violin
and Pianoforte_.

[Footnote 56: See also the strikingly original cadences in Debussy's
_L'Isle joyeuse_.]

[Music]

The two endings for phrases are classified as Masculine and Feminine
and they correspond exactly to the same effects in the metre of a
poetic stanza. When the second chord of the cadence, whatever it may
be, coincides with a _strong_ beat, _i.e._, the first beat of the
measure, the ending is Masculine, _e.g._

[Music]

When the chord is carried over to a weak beat of the measure the
ending is Feminine, _e.g._

[Music]

We now give two more examples of the eight measure Sentence which
clearly exemplify the principles just stated, _e.g._

[Music: BEETHOVEN: 3rd Sonata]

In this vigorous and clear-cut sentence we find in the 4th measure an
effect of surprise and suspense; for the chord on the first beat is an
inverted position of the dominant chord in the dominant key. Both the
endings are masculine, _i.e._, the chords which end the phrases
coincide with the strong beats.

[Music: BEETHOVEN: 1st Sonata]

This graceful sentence is noteworthy for the clear division of the
first phrase into two contrasting sections; whereas, in the second
phrase, a climactic effect is gained by having no marked subdivision.
In the fourth measure occurs a good example of a half-cadence. All the
endings are feminine, _i.e._, the cadential chord occurs on a _weak_
beat of the measure.[57]

[Footnote 57: Another interesting eight-measure sentence may be found
at the beginning of the slow movement of Beethoven's Eighth Sonata, in
which every section differs from any one of the others; in the opening
sentence of the first movement of the Tenth Sonata--noticeable for the
indefiniteness of the cadences until the final close is reached in
measure 8, and in the first sentence of the Allegretto of the Sixth
Sonata which is one long sweep, with only the faintest indications of
subdivision.]

Music, however, would be very rigid and would seem measured off with a
yard-stick if the sentences were equally of eight measures. The
"sing-song" effect of much so-called popular music is due to the
stereotyped metrical pattern. You can always tell just where and how
you are coming out. In order to gain a free and elastic phraseology,
composers early began to combine three four-measure phrases into a
_twelve_ measure sentence. It is obvious that with three phrases there
can be more subtle effects of contrast and balance than with two, as
the following chart makes plain:

 ____________
/            \
A  Contrast   B   Contrast   C
               \____________/
(4 measures)  (4 measures)   (4 measures)
              balance
\______________________________________/

[Music: BEETHOVEN: 6th Sonata]

In this sentence it is evident that we cannot stop at the 8th measure
and that our first definite conclusion is in measure 12. Let the
student observe the varied melodic outline in the three phrases, and
question himself as to the types of cadence and ending.


MINUETTO OF BEETHOVEN'S FIRST SONATA.[58]

[Footnote 58: Lack of space will prevent hereafter the citation in
actual notes of the examples from Beethoven. His works are readily
accessible, and it may even be assumed that every music-lover owns the
Pianoforte Sonatas.]

In this beautifully constructed twelve-measure sentence we have the
main motive of the entire movement set forth in measures 1 and 2;
then a contrasting secondary motive in measures 3 and 4. The second
four-measure phrase, _i.e._, measures 5, 6, 7 and 8, repeats the
material exactly, but with a modulation into the relative major. In
measures 9 and 10 we find the secondary motive appearing in the alto
voice (which should be brought out in performance), and in measures 11
and 12 a free ending in the relative major. The closing measures, 13
and 14, give an echo-like effect, which will be explained when we come
to extended sentences. Such a sentence is not to be considered as one
of 14 measures, although the literal counting gives that number; for
the first complete cadence occurs in the 12th measure at the end of
the third four-measure phrase; the remaining measures being
supplementary.[59]

[Footnote 59: Another excellent example of a 12 measure sentence with
an extended cadence may be found at the beginning of the first
movement of the Third Beethoven Sonata.]

The last type of simple, normal sentence is that of 16 measures,
divided into 4 phrases of 4 measures each. A clear distinction must be
drawn between two successive sentences of 8 measures and the long
sweep of a genuine 16 measure sentence. In the latter case there is no
complete and satisfactory stop until we reach the cadence in the 16th
measure.


FIRST SENTENCE OF THE FIRST MOVEMENT OF THE TWELFTH SONATA.

No difficulty will be found in following the cadences and endings of
this sentence, the long-drawn out lines of which give an impression of
repose and tranquillity. Two more excellent examples of 16 measure
sentences may be found in the Adagio of the Fifth Sonata, and in the
Scherzo of the Third; the latter movement is remarkable for the
polyphonic treatment of the opening motive.

Although the three types of sentence just studied, _i.e._, of 8, 12
and 16 measures are the normal ones, and would include a majority of
all sentences--especially in smaller works--in large compositions
there would be an unendurable monotony and rigidity were there
invariably to be cadential pauses at every 4th measure. We all know
the deadening effect of poetry which has too great uniformity of
metric pattern; and verses of "The boy stood on the burning-deck" type
are considered thoroughly "sing-song." It is obvious that elasticity
may be gained, without disturbing the normal balance, by expanding a
sentence through the addition of extra measures, or contracting it by
the logical omission of certain measures or by the overlapping of
phrases.

The simplest and most common means of enlarging a sentence is by the
extension, or repetition, of the final cadence--that effect which is
so frequent in the chamber and symphonic music of Haydn, and which has
its comic manifestation in the so-called "crescendo" of the Rossini
Operatic Overture.[60]

[Footnote 60: For a burlesque of this practise see the closing
measures of the Scherzando movement of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony.]

[Music: HAYDN: _Quartet, op. 74, No. 2_]

As Haydn was an important pioneer in freeing instrumental structure
from dependence on the metre of words, his periods are always clearly
organized; the closing measures of this example seem, as it were, to
display a flag, telling the listener that the first breathing-place is
reached. Very often both the fore-phrase and the after-phrase have
cadential prolongations, an example of which may be found in Haydn's
Quartet, op. 71, No. 3. The two following illustrations (the first
movement of Beethoven's Fifth Sonata and the third movement of the
Fourth) furnish remarkable examples of extended 16 measure sentences;
each sentence being normal and symmetrical at the outset and then, as
the fancy of the composer catches fire, expanding in a most dramatic
fashion. Sometimes the additional measures, in an extended sentence,
are found at the start; a clear example of this is the first sentence
(with its repeated opening measure) of the Largo of the Seventh
Sonata. Sentences are also often expanded by the insertion of one or
more measures in the middle of the phrase, _e.g._, the beginning of
the first movement of the Seventh Sonata and the corresponding place
in the Fourth. In the former sentence the first phrase is perfectly
regular, but as we reach our final cadence only in the tenth measure,
we must account for some additional measures. The polyphonic imitation
of the descending motive of measure 5 makes clear that this measure
has two repetitions. In the latter case we reach the end of the
sentence in the 17th measure and careful counting, and consideration
of the melodic outline, will convince us that the 9th measure,
emphasized by the _sf_ mark, is repeated.

When an extra measure is systematically introduced into each phrase of
4 measures we have what is known as "five-bar rhythm"--so prevalent in
the works of Schubert and Brahms.

[Music: SCHUBERT: _Sonata in E[flat] major_]

[Music: BRAHMS: _Ballade in G minor_]

As everyone is familiar with the latter composition, only the melody
is cited. This propulsion of the mind forward beyond the accustomed
point of rest always produces a stimulating rhythmic effect.[61]

[Footnote 61: Other charming examples of five-bar rhythm may be found
in Schubert's Quartet in A minor, op. 29, and in the opening choral
(St. Anthony) of Brahms's _Orchestral Variations_, op. 56a.]

The normal phraseology of four and eight measures is altered at times
by the _omission_ of certain measures. This often takes place at the
beginning of the sentence, as may be seen from the structure of the
so-called Anglican chant, familiar to all Protestants, _e.g._

[Music: SAVAGE]

The beginning of Mozart's _Overture to Figaro_ is also well known,
_e.g._

[Music]

The elision of a measure often takes place in the middle of a phrase
as may be seen from the theme of Mendelssohn's familiar _Spring-Song_.

[Music]

Just as in the case of the systematic insertion of an extra measure,
which produces "five-bar rhythm," so when a measure is omitted in each
phrase which would usually consist of four measures, we have
"three-bar rhythm." This gives an effect of great concentration and
intensity and is a prevalent feature in Scottish and Hungarian
folk-music, _e.g._

[Music: Scotch]

[Music: Hungarian]

Additional examples of three-bar rhythm may be found in the Scherzo of
Beethoven's Tenth Sonata and in the Minuet of Mozart's _G minor
Symphony_--the latter, one of the most striking examples in
literature.

When a measure is systematically omitted from the normal structure of
the 8 measure sentence we have "seven-bar rhythm"; of which beautiful
examples may be found in the Scherzo of Beethoven's Sonata in B-flat
major, op. 106, and in Mozart's Quartet in F major, No. 23. As these
examples are readily accessible they are not quoted. The humorous
effect produced, in the Beethoven example, by the unexpected elision
of the 7th measure is very marked.

Flexibility in the structure of a sentence is often gained by what is
known as "overlapping"[62] of phrases, _i.e._, where the closing
measure of a sentence, the 8th or 12th for example, is identical with
the first measure of the following phrase. A clear example is this
passage from the first movement of Beethoven's Third Sonata, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 62: This effect is clearly brought out in symphonic music
where one portion of the orchestra, with a certain tone color, may be
ending a phrase at the same moment at which another part, with a
contrasting tone color, begins. An excellent example is the first
theme of the Slow movement of Schumann's Second Symphony (measures
7-8).]

As the principles of sentence-formation are closely involved with the
general subject of rhythm, something must be known about the number of
beats within the measure itself. While it is true that we Anglo-Saxons
tend to think in terms of 2 and 3 or their multiples, _i.e._, our
customary measures consist of 2 or 4 beats or of 3, 6, 9 and 12, in
modern music--particularly that of other races (the Slavs, Hungarians,
etc.)--we often find measures with 5 and 7 beats and even phrases
containing a mixture of rhythms. Three excellent examples of
compositions with measures of 5 beats each are the Slow Movement of
Chopin's Sonata in C minor, op. 4, the F-sharp major portion of
d'Indy's Symphonic Variations, _Istar_, and the second movement of
Tchaikowsky Sixth Symphony, _e.g._

[Music]

A delightful example of a melody with 7 beats a measure is the Andante
Grazioso of Brahms's Trio in C minor, op. 101--the result undoubtedly
of his well-known fondness for Hungarian music, _e.g._

[Music]

The following theme from Tchaikowsky's Quartet in F major,
notwithstanding the time signature, certainly gives the effect of a
long, seven-beat measure, _e.g._

[Music]

Those who wish to do a little investigating of their own in the field
of modern music will find interesting examples of 5/4 and 7/4 metres
in Ravel's _Daphnis and Chloe_, in d'Indy's Sonata for Violin and
Pianoforte and in the Ballet music of Stravinsky.

We even find passages where, for special effect, the usual beats are
elided or extra beats inserted. Schumann was one of the most daring
experimenters in this respect and such fantastic effects are frequent
in his pianoforte works--notably in the _Carnaval_, op. 9, and in the
_Phantasiestücke_, op. 12, _e.g._

[Music: SCHUMANN: _Carnaval_]

With reference to all the foregoing principles and comments the
music-lover is cautioned against the assumption that music, from the
standpoint of the composer or the listener, is merely a matter of
mechanical counting; or that the "swing" of music is as regular as
that of a sewing-machine. But, as order is Heaven's first law, it is
true that music tends to move in definite, symmetrical groups; and
where departure is made from this practise the effect is one most
carefully planned. The matter deserves earnest consideration, for, in
what is known as the "rhythmical sense," Americans--as a people, in
comparison with foreign nations--are still woefully deficient. As
rhythm is the basic element in all music, there is nothing in which
the listener should more definitely train his faculties than in
intelligent coöperation with the freedom of the composer.




CHAPTER V

THE TWO-PART AND THREE-PART FORMS


Now that a clear insight has been gained into the formation of the
normal sentence, we are in a position to understand how sentences may
be combined to make complete compositions. The simplest and most
primitive structure is that which contains _two_ complete sentences;
dividing itself naturally into _two_ parts and hence known as the
Two-Part Form. This form by reason of its simplicity and directness is
often found in the short pianoforte pieces of Schumann, Tchaikowsky,
Brahms, Grieg and Debussy. For a long period there was no attempt at
differentiation between vocal and instrumental style; music, in fact,
during the 15th and 16th centuries was often entitled "buon da cantare
ou suonare," _i.e._, equally well suited for voices or instruments.
When instrumental players were in search of pieces, they simply
transferred to their instruments the voice-parts of the Madrigals and
Canzonas which were then so fashionable.[63] With the development of
instruments--especially of the Violin family--and with the desire for
an instrumental style which should be independent of words, principles
of coherent design had to be evolved; and they were suggested by the
definite metre in the stanzas of the Folk-song and, above all, by the
symmetrical phrases of the Folk-dance, used to accompany the
_rhythmical_ motions of the body. By a utilization of these principles
of balanced phrases, of contrasted keys and of periodic themes,
instrumental music gradually worked out a structure of its own,[64]
of which we find examples in National dances and in the compositions
of such pioneers of instrumental style as the Italians Corelli and
Vivaldi, the Frenchmen Lully, Couperin and Rameau, and the Englishman
Purcell.

[Footnote 63: For a complete account of this process see Parry's
_Evolution of the Art of Music_, p. 115 _seq._]

[Footnote 64: This book makes no attempt to give an historical account
of the development of instrumental form. The subject is set forth
comprehensively in the article on Form in Grove's Dictionary (Vol. II,
p. 73) and in the Fifth and Sixth Chapters of Parry's _Evolution of
the Art of Music_.]

[Music:

    Viens dans ce bocage belle Aminte,
    Sans contrainte L'on y forme des voeux;
    Viens, Viens dans ce bocage belle Aminte,
    Il est fait pour les plaisirs et les jeux.]

In this rhythmic and sprightly dance of exactly 8 measures (an old
French _Tambourin_ taken from Weckerlin's _Echos du Temps Passé_) we
see clearly the influence of the metrical stanza of words and of the
balanced phrases in the instrumental part, necessary to accompany the
steps of the dancers. The melody of the accompaniment was played on a
flute or some simple kind of pipe, and the bass on a Tambour de
Basque--a rude form of drum, which repeated continually the tonic and
dominant of the key; the same effect which we associate with the
Bagpipe and Hurdy-gurdy.

[Music: PURCELL: Jig.]

In this Jig, which was a favorite type with the English
peasantry--divided into three sentences of exactly 8 measures
each--the dance rhythm is very sharply defined. From various
dance-patterns a structural type was gradually evolved, of which the
chief features will now be indicated. The music was divided into _two_
distinct halves and it became the convention to gain length by
repeating each half--in the early days of the form, _literally_ (with
a double bar and sign of repeat); later, as composers gained freedom,
with considerable amplification. Each half presented the _same_
material (it was a _one_-theme form) but the two halves were
contrasted in _tonality_, _i.e._, the first part, beginning in the
home-key, would modulate to some related key--generally the dominant;
the second part, starting out in this key, gradually modulated back to
a final cadence in the original key, and often--especially in Haydn
and Mozart--repeated the entire main sentence of the first part. The
general effect of such a form has been wittily described[65] as
resembling the actions of "the King of France who, with twenty
thousand men, marched up the hill and then marched down again"--but he
surely had no exciting adventures in between! It is evident that this
form, while favorable to coherence and unity, is lacking in scope and
in opportunity for variety and contrast. It did, however, emphasize
the principle of recapitulation; in fact it became the convention (as
we shall see in the dances of the Suite) for the closing measures of
the second part to be an exact duplicate in the home-key of that which
had been presented at the end of part one. We shall observe, as we
continue our studies, that the trend of musical composition gradually
swung over to the Three-part form, the essential feature of which is
restatement after _intervening contrast_.

[Footnote 65: See _The Appreciation of Music_ by Surette and Mason, p.
36.]

For illustrations of the Two-part Form see the Supplement Nos. 20, 21,
22, 23, 24.

Only in such comparatively simple examples as those just cited is
found this perfect balance in the length of the two parts. We often
observe extended sentences in the first part; and it became the custom
for the second part to be considerably lengthened, to include
modulations into more remote keys and even to display certain
developments of the main material. For a striking example of a
movement which, although definitely in Two-part form, (_i.e._, it is
in two clear divisions and has but _one_ theme) is yet of considerable
scope and variety, see the Allegretto of Beethoven's Fourth Sonata. It
was, in fact, this instinct for contrasting variety in the second
part[66] which (as can be shown from historical examples)[67]
gradually led to the developing and establishment of the Three-part
form.

[Footnote 66: As an illustration of this tendency see the Scherzo of
Beethoven's Second Sonata, the second part of which has a new theme of
its own, although the movement as a whole is clearly in Two-part
form.]

[Footnote 67: See _The Sonata Form_ by W.H. Hadow, Chapter III.]

The essentials of this structure, so frequent in all pianoforte
literature, are the existence of _three_ distinct _parts_--hence the
name: a clause of assertion in the home-key; a second clause,
affording a genuine _contrast_ to the first part in regard to key,
melodic outline and general treatment, and a third clause of
reassertion, which shall repeat--either literally or in varied
form--the material of part one.[68] In the Three-part form, as
employed in the classic Minuet and Scherzo, each of the three parts
_taken by itself_ is in complete Two-part form; and as the third part
was generally a literal repetition of part one, it was not written
out, but at the end of the middle part (called the Trio, because it
was originally written in three-voiced harmony) we find the direction
"Minuet or Scherzo da capo," meaning a return to the first part. A
coda or tail-piece is often added to round out the form. As the
student will become thoroughly familiar with the Three-part form, in
connection with the classic Symphonies soon to be studied (each
Minuet, Scherzo or Trio being an example), our illustrations show the
use of this form in independent pieces and are chiefly taken from
modern literature; the object being so to interest the student in the
beauty of these compositions as to convince him that in all good music
content and design go hand is hand. For examples[69] see Supplement
Nos. 25, 26, 27.

[Footnote 68: The three-part form is derived partly from the Italian
"da Capo Aria" and partly from the fundamental instinct for
restatement which we have seen in the Folk-song.]

[Footnote 69: Additional illustrations, which will repay study are the
following: the Allegretto of Beethoven's Sixth Sonata; the Schubert
Impromptu, op. 90, No. 4; Brahms's Intermezzo, op. 117, No. 1 and the
Ballade in G minor, op. 118, No. 3, and for orchestra--in extended
treatment--Debussy's _Prélude à l'après-midi d'un Faune_.]




CHAPTER VI

THE CLASSICAL AND THE MODERN SUITE


No sooner had the Two-and Three-part forms become accepted as definite
means of instrumental expression, than composers were eager to try
their skill in combining dance-movements in such forms into larger
groups. These compositions--known in France as Ordres, in Germany as
Suites and Partitas and in England as Lessons--though all the
movements were in the _same key_, yet showed considerable variety by
reason of the contrast in the dance rhythms. They were, moreover,
simple, direct and easily understood of the people.[70] This
development was furthered by the perfecting of two groups of
instruments: The violins, by the great Italian masters; and those
precursors of our modern pianoforte, the harpsichord, clavichord and
spinet. We find, consequently, the Italians--of whom Corelli was most
prominent--combining these dances into groups called Sonate da Ballo:
and the French composers Couperin and Rameau, developing the
possibilities of keyed stringed instruments in graceful pieces to
which fantastic titles, such as _La Poule_, _Le Rappel des Oiseaux_,
etc., were often given. The greatest master of instrumental style in
these early days was the Italian, Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757). He
was famous both as composer and performer--the first, in fact, of the
long line of key-board virtuosi--and in his compositions in dance form
and in those of a more abstract type there is a sparkling fancy and an
adjustment of the thought to his instrument, which will keep them
forever immortal.[71]

[Footnote 70: For an interesting and comprehensive account of this
development see Grove's Dictionary, Volume IV, article on the Suite.]

[Footnote 71: For extensive comments on Scarlatti's style see _The
History of the Pianoforte and Pianoforte Players_ by Oscar Bie, pp.
68-90.]

The grouping together of dance forms reached its highest development
through the genius of Sebastian Bach in the so-called _French and
English Suites_.[72] In these compositions--in the Partitas and in the
orchestral Suite in D major, which contains the well-known Aria, often
played in transcription for Violin solo--the dance-forms are not
employed literally but are made a vehicle for the expression of varied
types of human emotion and sentiment. Nor should we overlook the
twelve _Harpsichord Lessons_ of Handel--especially the superb Fugue in
E minor in the Fourth Suite--which are noteworthy for their vigor,
though, in freshness and delicacy of invention, not to be compared
with Bach's.

[Footnote 72: These titles, according to Parry (see his life of Bach,
Chapters IV and XII passim), were not given by Bach himself but were
assigned, in the case of the French Suites, to denote the delicacy of
treatment found therein, and in the English, a certain massive style.]

We now give a tabulated list of the customary dance forms, both as
found in the Classic and the modern Suite or used as independent
pieces; and we shall then analyze those which have the most
characteristic rhythmic pattern.


LIST OF DANCES

_______________________________________________________________________________
NAME       | ORIGIN       | METER    | FORM       | CHARACTER
___________|______________|__________|____________|____________________________
Allemande  | Suabian      |   4/4    | Two-part   | Moderately quick;
           |              |          |            | flowing, with a rather
           |              |          |            | rich harmonic texture.
           |              |          |            |
{Courante  | French       | 3/4, 3/2 | Two-part   | Running, lively; the 2/2
{Corrente  | Italian      |          |            | type always with a change
           |              |          |            | of meter at the cadences.
           |              |          |            |
Sarabande  | Spanish      | 3/2, 3/4 | Two-part   | Stately, dignified; often
           |              |          |            | noble and even
           |              |          |            | dramatically pathetic.
           |              |          |            |
Hornpipe   | English      |   4/4    | Two-part   | Rapid, merry, energetic.
           |              |          |            |
{Gigue     | Italian      |   6/8,   | Two-part   | Very lively, rollicking,
{Jig       | giga, an     |  12/8,   |            | even jocose.
           | early violin |   4/8    |            |
           |              |          |            |
Gavotte    | French       | 4/4, 2/2 | Two-part   | Moderately fast;
           |              |          |            | well-marked rhythm,
           |              |          |            | often stately.
           |              |          |            |
Bourrée    | French       |   4/4    | Two-part   | Lively, vigorous.
           |              |          |            |
Minuet     | French       | 3/4, 3/8 | Two-part   | Moderately fast; dainty,
           |              |          |            | graceful, courtly.
           |              |          |            |
Passepied  | French       |   3/4    | Two-part   | Light, delicately animated.
           |              |          |            |
Loure      | French       | 6/4, 4/4 | Two-part   | Rather slow, stately.
           |              |          |            |
Pavane     | Italian      |   2/4    | Two-part   | Solemn, impressive.
           |              |          |            |
Galliard   | Italian      | 3/2, 2/2 | Two-part   | Lively, merry.
           |              |          |            |
{Branle    | French       | 4/4, 3/4 | Two-part   | Lively, with great abandon.
{Brawl     | English      |          |            |
           |              |          |            |
Polonaise  | Polish       |   3/4    | Varied     | Dignified and courtly, but
           |              |          |            | with life.
           |              |          |            |
Mazurka    | Polish       |   3/4    | Varied     | Great range of speed and
           |              |          |            | effect; at times sustained
           |              |          |            | and pathetic, often
           |              |          |            | bright and lively.
           |              |          |            |
Polka      | Bohemian     |   2/4    | Generally  | Merry, animated.
           |              |          | three-part |
           |              |          |            |
Furiant    | Bohemian     |   3/4    | Varied     | Very lively, even frenzied.
           |              |          |            |
Waltz      | German       |   3/4    | Two-part   | Graceful; varied in effect;
           |              |          |    or      | at times lively, often
           |              |          | three-part | slow.
           |              |          |            |
Boléro     | Spanish      |   3/4    | Three-part | Brisk, well-marked rhythm.
           |              |          |            |
Tarantella | Italian      |   6/8    | Varied     | Very lively, impassioned.
           |              |          |            |
Saltarello | Italian      | 6/8, 3/4 | Varied     | With  quick, jumping
           |              |          |            | rhythm.
           |              |          |            |
Rigaudon   | French       | 2/4, 4/4 | Varied     | Lively, gay.
           |              |          |            |
March      | Found in     |   4/4    | Varied     | Stately, with marked
           | every nation |          |            | rhythm.
           |              |          |            |
Csárdás    | Hungarian    | 3/4, 2/4 | Varied     | Impassioned; with great
           |              |          |            | variety of effect.
           |              |          |            |
Halling    | Scandinavian |   2/4    | Varied     | Fresh, vigorous,
           |              |          |            | out-of-doors atmosphere.
           |              |          |            |
Tango      | Mexican      |  Varied  | Varied     | With reckless abandon.
           |              |          |            |
Habañera   | Spanish      |   2/4    | Varied     | Graceful; with
           |              |          |            | characteristic rhythm.
           |              |          |            |
Seguidilla | Spanish      | 3/4, 3/8 | Varied     | Fantastic; sometimes
           |              |          |            | stately, sometimes gay
           |              |          |            | and lively.
           |              |          |            |
{Jota,     | Spanish      |   3/4    | Free       | A kind of waltz, but with
{often     |              |          |            | more freedom in the
{Jota      |              |          |            | dancing, and of a vigorous
{Aragonesa |              |          |            | and fiery nature.
           |              |          |            |
           |              |          |            |
Malagueña  | Spanish      |   3/8    | In couplet | A dance of moderate
           |              |          | form       | movement, accompanied by
           |              |          |            | guitar and castanets;
           |              |          |            | languorous and sensual in
           |              |          |            | mood.
           |              |          |            |
Siciliano  | Sicilian     |   6/8,   | Two-part,  | Graceful; of a Pastorale
           |              |  12/8    | three-part,| nature.
           |              |          | often a    |
           |              |          | Rondo      |
___________|______________|__________|____________|____________________________

The four indispensable movements of the classic or 18th century Suite
were the Allemande, the Courante, the Sarabande and the Gigue; and,
between the last two, it became customary to insert an optional number
of other dances--the most usual being the Gavotte, Bourrée, Minuet and
Passepied. In effect, the Suite was a kind of "international
Potpourri" of the dances most in vogue, and affords us a vivid
reflection of the manners and customs of the period. Many of the
English Suites begin with an elaborate polyphonic Prelude. We shall
not give a detailed analysis of all these dance movements; for the
main characteristics the tabulated list will suffice, and in the book
of Supplementary examples (see No. 35) will be found the 6th French
Suite complete. It will be more useful to center attention on those
dances which, in rhythmic pattern, are especially typical and are most
frequently employed in modern music; and we shall select, as examples
drawn from various sources, those dances which make a direct appeal.
The most characteristic of the dances are the Sarabande, the Gavotte,
the Minuet and the Gigue; and with the last, as exemplifying the same
spirit, may be grouped the Rigaudon, Furiant, Tarantella and
Saltarello.

The Sarabande is a slow, stately dance; always in triple meter
indicated by 3/2 or 3/4. Its striking features are the frequent
occurrence of the rhythmic pattern

[Music] or [Music]

in which it is evident that there is a strong accent on the weak
beats; and the prevalence of feminine endings in the cadences. The
Sarabande always displays great depth of emotion--often of a tragic
and impassioned kind; and, in the Suite, seems to have served the
composer for the same outpouring of feeling which we associate with
the slow movement in the later Sonata or Symphony. The example cited
in the Supplement (See No. 28)--taken from one of Bach's Sonatas for
'cello--is considered one of the most beautiful in existence. Other
eloquent Sarabandes may be found in the Second and Third English
Suites and in Handel's noble Air "Lascia ch'io pianga" from the opera
of _Rinaldo_. Two fine modern examples of this dance are the second
number in Paderewski's _Humoresques de Concert_, op. 14, and the
second number in the set of pieces by Debussy, _Pour le
Piano_--_Prélude_, _Sarabande_, _Toccata_. Composers sometimes employ
the Sarabande rhythm for its inherent beauty, or for dramatic purposes
without indication of the fact. Examples are the theme for variations
in Beethoven's Sonata, op. 109, and the opening measures of the
_Egmont Overture_ where, by means of the characteristic Spanish
dance-rhythm, an atmosphere of oppression and dejection is
established, _e.g._

[Music]

The Gavotte is an energetic yet dignified dance in duple rhythm (it is
almost always played too fast)--the characteristics of which are its
beginning on the half-measure and its strongly marked cadences. One of
the most stirring examples is that cited from the Third English Suite
(See Supplement No. 29) which, with its subdued middle portion, La
Musette,[73] is an early example of tripartite arrangement. Other
gavottes[74] are the favorite one from the Fifth French Suite, that
from Handel's opera _Ottone_ (so often played in organ or pianoforte
transcriptions) and, from modern literature, the charming one in
d'Albert's _Suite for Pianoforte_, op. 1.

[Footnote 73: So-called because it is written on a sustained bass note
or pedal point; a feature of the Musette (the French name for Bagpipe)
being its persistent drone bass on the tonic and the dominant.]

[Footnote 74: An interesting example may also be found in Grieg's
_Holberg Suite for Pianoforte_.]

The Minuet is of particular interest, not alone because of the many
beautiful examples of its use but because it is the only dance which,
carried over from the Suite, has remained an integral movement of
Symphonic compositions. The Minuet, in its older form, was a stately
dance; the derivation of the term (French menu) referring to the
dainty steps of the dancers, always in 3/8 or 3/4 metre and beginning
on the first beat of the measure. By Haydn the character of the Minuet
was considerably changed; the tempo becomes much faster, the music
begins on the third beat of the measure instead of the first and the
mood is one of playful humor--at times even of downright jollity. In
the Minuets of Mozart the peculiar characteristics are grace and
tenderness rather than rollicking fun, _e.g._, the charming examples
in the E-flat major and G minor Symphonies. Concerning the
transformation by Beethoven of the Minuet into the Scherzo, with its
fantastic and freakish atmosphere, we shall speak more fully in
connection with his Symphonies. Of the examples cited in the
Supplement (see Nos. 30 and 31) the former, from the first Finale of
Mozart's opera _Don Giovanni_, remains one of the most famous minuets
in existence; and the two from Rameau's opera, _Castor and Pollux_,
are of inimitable spontaneity and rhythmic grace. They are grouped in
contrasting, tripartite arrangement. In modern literature every one
knows of the melodious example for Pianoforte by Paderewski (No. 1 of
the _Humoresques de Concert_) and the _Menuet Italien_ by Mrs. Beach;
that in the last scene of Verdi's _Falstaff_ is also well worth
acquaintance.

The last of the particularly characteristic dances is the Gigue with
its counterparts mentioned above. This is a rapid, animated dance in
6/8, 3/8, 12/8, 12/16 (sometimes 4/4) with marked rhythm; the term
being derived from giga (German, geige)--an early name for fiddle--on
account of the power of accent associated with the violin family. The
Gigue is always the closing number of Bach's Suites, in order to give
a final impression of irrepressible vitality and gaiety, and is
treated with considerable polyphonic complexity; in fact, his gigues
often begin like a complete Fugue. They are all in clear-cut Two-part
form; and it became the convention for the second part to treat the
motive in _inverted_ form. The example cited from Bach's Fifth French
Suite (see Supplement No. 32) is unsurpassed for rhythmic energy; the
closing measures sound as if all the bells of heaven were ringing. The
example of Mozart (see Supplement No. 33) is noteworthy for its daring
use of the dissonant element and for its free modulations. Of the
counterparts of the gigue the following are excellent examples: The
Rigaudon--the Finale of Grieg's _Holberg Suite_, the vigorous one from
Rameau's opera _Dardanus_, and MacDowell's independent piece in this
form, op. 49, No. 2; the Furiant--the Finale of Dvo[vr]ák's _Suite for
Small Orchestra_, op. 30 (accessible in an effective pianoforte
arrangement for four hands); the _Tarantelle_--Chopin's independent
piece in this rhythm, op. 43, and the brilliant Finale of
Rheinberger's Pianoforte Sonata for four hands, op. 122; the
Saltarello--the last movement of Mendelssohn's _Italian Symphony_ and
the main portion of Berlioz's _Carnaval Romain Overture_. One
additional example is cited (see Supplement No. 34), a Courante by D.
Scarlatti, to give an example of his pianoforte style. In connection
with these dances, especially the Sarabande, Gavotte, Loure, Pavane,
Polonaise and Tarantelle, there should be read the articles treating
of each dance in Grove's Dictionary; for these dances are so closely
connected with human activity that a knowledge of their development
broadens our horizon in many matters pertaining to social life and
civilization in general. As to specific examples of the less usual
dances, many of the quaintest are found in the works of the early
English composers: Byrd, Bull, etc., in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book,
_e.g._, _The Lord of Salisbury his Pavan_. An excellent example of the
Loure is the well-known arrangement from Bach's third 'Cello sonata.
Chopin, in his works, has glorified both the Polonaise and the
Mazurka; Bizet, in his opera Carmen, has used the Habañera and the
Seguidilla, and there is a wonderful use of the Habañera rhythm in
Debussy's descriptive piece _Soirée dans Grenade_. The French composer
Ravel in his pianoforte piece _Pavane pour un enfant defunt_ has used
with remarkable effect the stately rhythm of that dance. The Spanish
composers, Albeniz and Granados, frequently employ national dance
rhythms in their pieces. The French composer Chabrier's _Bourrée
Fantasque_ is a dazzling modernization of the old form; and his
_España_ for full orchestra fairly intoxicates us with its dashing
rhythms based upon the Jota and the Malagueña.[75] Debussy's
well-known piece _Hommage à Rameau_ is in the style of the Sarabande.
The allusions in literature to these dances are so frequent that only
a few can be cited. The very spirit of the Jig is given in Pope's line
"Make the soul dance upon a jig to Heaven." In speaking of the antics
of Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Shakespeare remarks--"I did
think by the excellent constitution of thy leg that it was formed
under the star of a Galliard." One of the most remarkable works of the
English composer John Dowland (born 1562) is entitled _Lachrymae, or
Seven Teares, figured in seven passionate Pavans_.

[Footnote 75: For a vivid description of these dances see Chabrier's
_Lettres à Nanette_, Paris, 1910.]

The Suite, by reason of its freedom in combining different rhythms and
moods, has appealed vividly to modern composers; and the literature of
our times contains a number of Suites which should be known to the
music-lover. In these modern Suites no attempt is made to conform to
the old conventional grouping of dances. The movements are in
different keys, are often based on rhythms of an exotic or
ultra-nationalistic type--as in Tchaikowsky and Dvo[vr]ák, or may
employ any material suggested by the fantastic imagination of the
composer--as in Debussy and Ravel. Among the most attractive modern
Suites may be cited: The _Peer Gynt_ (put together from incidental
music to Ibsen's play) and the _Holberg_ by Grieg; the two
_L'Arlésienne Suites_ by Bizet (written to illustrate Daudet's
romantic story)--the first, with its dainty Minuet and brilliant
Carillons (Peal of bells); Dvo[vr]ák's _Suite for Small Orchestra_,
op. 39, with its sprightly Polka and impassioned Furiant;
Tchaikowsky's five Orchestral Suites of which the best known are the
_Casse-Noisette_ with its exotic rhythms and novel orchestral effects,
the _Mozartiana_ and the third which closes with a brilliant
Polonaise; Brahms's _Serenades_ for orchestra; Charpentier's
_Impressions of Italy_ in which there is an effective use of Italian
rhythm and color; MacDowell's _Indian Suite_, with several of the
themes based on native tunes; the fascinating orchestral Suite
_Adventures in a Perambulator_ by John Alden Carpenter; Arthur
Whiting's _Suite Moderne_ for pianoforte; _Stevensoniana_, (based on
stanzas from Stevenson's _Child's Garden of Verses_) an orchestral
Suite in four movements by Edward B. Hill; Debussy's _Suite
Bergamasque_ in which is found the oft-played _Clair de Lune_;
Ravel's[76] _Mother Goose_, a delightful work--and by the same
composer the _Daphnis and Chloe_ Suite, the material drawn from an
opera of the same name. In modern literature easily the most
celebrated and brilliant example of this type is the _Scheherazade
Suite_ (based on the Arabian Nights) for full orchestra by
Rimsky-Korsakoff. This work in the genuine poetic quality of its
themes, in its marvellous descriptive power and in the boldness of its
orchestral effect remains unsurpassed.

[Footnote 76: See also _Le Tombeau de Couperin_ in which is a very
novel Rigaudon.]




CHAPTER VII

THE OLDER RONDO FORM


One of the earliest instrumental forms to be worked out[77] was the
Rondo, which is merely an extension of the _three-part_ principle of
"restatement after contrast" and which, by reason of its logical
appeal, has retained its place to this day. Originally the Rondo was a
combination of dance and song; that is, the performers sang and danced
in a circle--holding one another's hands. The music would begin with a
chorus in which all joined, one of the dancers would then sing a solo,
after which all would dance about and repeat the chorus; other solos
would follow, the chorus being repeated after each. The characteristic
feature, then, of this structure is the _continual recurrence_ to a
principal motive after intervening contrasts--hence the name Rondo
(French, Rondeau); exemplifying a principle found not only in
primitive folk-songs and dances but in literature, _e.g._, many of the
songs of Burns and the Rondeaux of Austin Dobson. For it is obvious
that the form answers to the simplest requirements of unity and
contrast. Frequent examples of the Rondo are found in all early
instrumental composers: Bach, _e.g._, the charming one in C minor in
his third Partita; Couperin, Rameau, Haydn and Mozart. It is found
also in vocal works, _e.g._, Purcell's well-known song "I Attempt from
Love's Sickness to Fly." From the standpoint of modern taste, however,
Beethoven was--with few exceptions--the first to treat the form with
real genius; and so our illustrations are taken chiefly from his
works and from those of his successors. Although there need be no
arbitrary limit to the alternation of the chief part with the
subsidiary portions--in fact, Beethoven's humorous _Rondo Capriccio,
On a Lost Farthing_ has as many as _eleven_ sections--it gradually
became conventional for the form to consist of _five parts_: a first
presentation and two repetitions of the main theme together with two
contrasting portions called _Episodes_, to which a free Coda was often
added. The form would then be A, b, A´, c, A´´, Coda--A´ and A´´
indicating that the repetition need not be _literal_, but often varied
rhythmically and harmonically; not, however, so as to obliterate the
original outline. For in a well-constructed Rondo the main theme must
be one of such direct appeal that we _look forward_ to hearing it
_again_; and the successive repetitions must be so planned that we can
easily enjoy this pleasure of reminiscence. It also became customary
not to block off the sections with rigid cadences but often to insert
modulatory passages, thus securing a continuous flow of thought. This
practise we see particularly in Beethoven and Schumann. The form which
we are discussing is the so-called Older Rondo Form, clearly derived
from the dance described above. Beginning[78] with Beethoven, however,
we find numerous examples of a different kind of rondo treatment which
developed in connection with the Sonata Form--to be explained later.
The Rondo-Sonata Form, as it is generally called, is in fact a hybrid
type, with certain features derived from rondo structure and certain
from the pure sonata form. The Finales to Beethoven's Sonatas, when
entitled Rondos, are--with few exceptions--of this Rondo-Sonata type.
An excellent example, which should be well known, is the Finale of the
Sonata Pathétique. Although there are many cases of _free_ treatment
of the rondo principle, they are all based on one or the other of
these two fundamental types. Schumann was extremely fond of this Older
Rondo Form, as may be seen from his frequent practice of writing two
Trios to the Scherzos of his Symphonies. A moment's thought will make
clear that a Scherzo with two Trios and the customary repetitions will
conform exactly to the pattern given above, _i.e._, A, b, A´, c, A´´
Coda, _e.g._, Scherzo, First Trio = First Episode, First return,
Second Trio = Second Episode, Final return and Coda--five portions in
all, or six when there is a Coda. For convincing examples see the
Scherzos of the First and Second Symphonies. Schumann's well-known
_Arabesque_ for pianoforte, op. 18, is a beautiful, clear-cut example
of the form; with an interpolated modulatory passage between the first
episode and first return, and a poetic Coda which has, for its closing
measures, the chief motive in augmentation (already referred to on p.
45). To show Schumann's partiality for this form the student may be
referred to Nos. 2 and 8 of the _Kreisleriana_ (op. 16) and to Nos. 1,
2 and 3 of the "Nachtstücke" (op. 23). The third of the _Romances_
(op. 28)--a remarkably free example in the grouping of the material
and in the key-relationship--is cited in the Supplement (No. 37). An
excellent example (readily accessible), popular by reason of its
freedom of treatment, as well as for its inherent sparkle and dash, is
the Finale of Weber's Sonata in C major, op. 24--the so-called _Moto
Perpetuo_. The most famous example of this form in classical
literature is undoubtedly the Finale of Beethoven's _Waldstein
Sonata_, op. 53, with its melodious and easily remembered first
subject, _e.g._

[Music]

[Music]

its two episodes in A minor and C minor (which afford most dramatic
contrasts to the lyric quality of the main subject) and its glorious,
long-extended Coda of about three pages.[79]

[Footnote 77: For a complete account of the historical development see
the article on Form in Grove's Dictionary Vol. II and Hadow's _Sonata
Form_, Chapter IX.]

[Footnote 78: There is an early example in the Rondo of Mozart's
Sonata for Pianoforte in B-flat major.]

[Footnote 79: For a complete detailed analysis of the movement see
Prout, _Applied Forms_, pp. 120-121.]

As stated above, the Older Rondo-Form has not become obsolete; indeed,
by reason of its possibilities for emphasis and contrast it has
commended itself to modern composers. Striking examples may be found
in the Finale of Brahms's Pianoforte Sonata in F minor, in the Finale
of Tchaikowsky's Fourth Symphony and, above all, in the Symphonic
Poems of Strauss, _Don Juan_ and _Till Eulenspiegel_, in which the
form is admirably adapted to the dramatic needs of these descriptive
works. Additional examples, which can be readily procured, are the
Slow Movement of the _Sonata Pathétique_, op. 13, Beethoven's
well-known _Andante in F major_--remarkable for its brilliant
Coda--and his Rondo, already cited, _On the Lost Farthing_. (See
Supplement No. 38). Although there is a certain stiffness in this form
these examples afford the student excellent rudimentary practise in
ease of listening.




CHAPTER VIII

THE VARIATION FORM


Monotony, as previously suggested, is more unendurable in music than
in any of the other arts. We should therefore expect to find musicians
inventing new devices to vary their thoughts so that the interest of
the hearer might be continually sustained and refreshed. Thus there
gradually grew up the form known as the Varied Air--a term meaning the
presentation of the same musical material under different aspects. As
far back as we can trace the development of instrumental structure,
there appears this instinct for varying a simple tune by
embellishments of a rhythmical and melodic nature. Examples abound in
the works of the early Italian masters, in the harpsichord pieces of
the English composers Byrd and Bull[80] and in the music of Couperin
and Rameau. But all these Variations, however interesting from a
historical point[81] of view, are very labored and lack any real
poetic growth. They are, moreover, often prolonged to an interminable
length--one example, as late as Handel, consisting of an Air with
sixty-two Variations; prolixity or "damnable iteration" being as bad a
blemish in music as in any of the other arts. In the early days of
instrumental composition, about all that composers could do was "to
put the theme through its paces." That is, there was no unfolding of
the poetic possibilities of the melody. The successive variations were
all in the same key; the harmonic basis was practically unchanged and
the treatment consisted of dressing up the theme with stereotyped
embellishment-figures and of systematic rhythmic animation--produced
by the addition of more and more notes to each time unit. A standard
illustration of this type of Variations is the so-called _Harmonious
Blacksmith_ of Handel from his _Suite in E Major_. This piece owes
whatever popularity it may have preserved to the sturdy swing of the
main theme and to the fact that it makes no demand on the attention of
the most untrained listener. In fairness we should state that on the
harpsichord--with its contrasting stops and key-boards--for which the
piece was composed, there is possible more variety of effect than on
the modern pianoforte.

[Footnote 80: We would cite the piece entitled _Les Buffons_ by Bull,
and Byrd's variations to the popular tune the _Carman's Whistle_,
which latter have considerable archaic charm and distinction; for Byrd
was a real genius. These are readily accessible in popular editions.]

[Footnote 81: Consult the comprehensive article on Variations in
Grove's Dictionary, Vol. V.]

Three collateral early forms deserve a passing mention because,
notwithstanding a certain rigidity of structure, they have been used
by the great masters for the expression of sublime thoughts. These are
the Ground Bass (or, as it is sometimes called, the Basso Ostinato),
the Chaconne and the Passacaglia[82] which, in modern literature, is
well represented by the magnificent "tour de force" that serves as the
Finale to Brahms's _Fourth Symphony_. By a Ground Bass is meant a
theme, continually repeated, in the lowest voice, each time with
varied upper parts. An excellent example (see Supplement No. 39) is
the Aria "When I am laid in earth" from Purcell's Opera _Dido and
Aeneas_. It is evident that the persistent iteration of a striking
phrase in the bass gives an effect of dramatic intensity, as may be
seen in the sublime "Crucifixion" of Bach's _Mass in B minor_.[83]
The Chaconne and Passacaglia are old dance forms (examples of the
former being found in Gluck's Ballet Music) and are closely related to
the Ground Bass; since, in the majority of cases, we find the same
procedure in the announcement of the theme and in its subsequent
treatment. Two examples of the Chaconne from standard literature are
the famous one of Bach in D minor for solo violin and Beethoven's
thirty-two Variations in C minor for Pianoforte. The Passacaglia is of
importance as shown by the striking example for organ in C minor by
Bach on the following theme:

[Music]

Whoever has heard this majestic theme, which seems to bear the sorrows
of the world on its shoulders, announced on the deep-sounding pedals
will gain a lasting impression of the grandeur of Bach's style.

[Footnote 82: For the derivation of the term consult the interesting
article in Grove's Dictionary, Vol. IV.]

[Footnote 83: A work before which Schumann said every musician should
prostrate himself in adoration.]

By the time of Haydn, the technical skill of composers had improved
sufficiently so that we find in his works some genuinely interesting
examples of the Variation form, _e.g._, the set on the well-known
Austrian hymn from the _Kaiser Quartet in C major_--in which each of
the five variations has a real individuality--and the _Variations in F
minor for Pianoforte_: remarkable as an early example of the varied
treatment of _two_ themes.

Most of Mozart's Variations are based upon popular themes and, in
general, may be considered as virtuoso pieces to show off the agility
of the performer. We find occasional examples, as in the Clarinet
Quintette and in the Sonata in D major, which are of more intrinsic
worth.

The genius of Beethoven first revealed the full possibilities of the
form. In fact, so remarkable was his work that such creative composers
as César Franck and d'Indy consider the basic principles for our
modern development of music to be found in the Fugue of Bach and the
Varied Air of Beethoven. For, deadly dull as is the Variation form
when treated in a stereotyped manner, by very reason of its freedom
from arbitrary rules it may be a most elastic medium for the
expression of poetic genius. The composer has but to invent a striking
characteristic theme, rich in potential development, and then to let
it develop for as long as he can retain the interest of his hearers.
Likewise for a great orator the simple rule is to state a theme on
which something worth while may be said and then by presenting it in
new lights and with copious illustrations to drive the truth home. The
principal and significant changes which we owe to Beethoven are the
following: complete freedom in variety of key, so that at times (as in
his op. 34) each variation is in a new key; a frequent omission of the
rigid stops at the end of each variation, _e.g._, the Slow movement of
the _Fifth Symphony_ and the third movement of the _Trio_, op. 96, so
that a continuous flow of thought is preserved; the practice, so often
followed in modern literature, of founding variations on a double
theme--of which the Finale of the _Heroic Symphony_ is a striking
example. But the chief advance in Beethoven is the entirely new
conception of what variations should be; not, according to him, mere
mechanical manipulations of the subject matter, but vital products of
the imagination, as varied as the members of a human family having the
same mother. Beethoven's variations, in fact, often seem like a series
of character-pieces, each with its own individuality and yet retaining
an organic relationship to the main thought. His fondness for the form
and his mastery over it is seen by the frequency of its use in the
last Sonatas and String-Quartets. Every composer since Beethoven has
written one or more works in the Variation form; but we can mention
only the most beautiful examples and then pass on to the daring
conceptions of the modern school. The Variations by Schubert in his
String-Quartet in D minor on the Song, _Death and the Maiden_, will
amply repay study, and so will the _Variations Sérieuses_, op. 54, for
the pianoforte by Mendelssohn. As for Schumann, he was very happy in
the use of this form, and his _Symphonic Études_, op. 13--in wealth of
fancy and freedom of treatment--are quite unparalleled. His Variations
for two pianofortes, op. 46, deserve also to be known. Among the
finest examples since Beethoven are the numerous sets by Brahms,
remarkable alike for emotional power, for free and yet logical
treatment of the material and for solidity of workmanship. They
include the _Variations on a theme from Handel_ for pianoforte, op.
24; the set for orchestra, op. 56a, on the _St. Anthony Choral_ of
Haydn; and the two sets, op. 35, on themes from Paganini--universally
conceded to be the most brilliant examples for the pianoforte in
recent literature.

To speak now particularly of the modern school, there are five
compositions in this form which, for their daring novelty and
sustained eloquence, should be familiar to every music-lover and heard
as often as possible. For they are elaborate works which must be
thoroughly known to be understood and loved. (1), There is the set in
Tchaikowsky's Pianoforte Trio in A minor, op. 50; noteworthy for
freedom of modulation and for the striking individuality given to the
different transformations of the theme--two of the changes being to a
Waltz and a Mazurka. (2), _The Symphonic Variations_ for Pianoforte
and Orchestra of César Franck, based on two contrasting themes, one in
the minor mode and one with modulations to the major. The variations
are not numbered and there are no rigid stops; throughout the work
Franck's marvellous power of modulation and rich harmonic texture are
eloquently manifested. (3), The _Istar_ Variations for orchestra by
d'Indy is one of the most original works in the whole field; in that,
for dramatic reasons connected with the subject, the usual order is
_reversed_ and the variations come _first_, gradually becoming more
and more simple until we reach the theme itself, pure and unadorned.
(4), The Symphonic Poem, _Don Quixote_, of R. Strauss, a complex set
of Variations on _three_ themes which typify respectively the
characters of Cervantes' story; the Knight, his attendant, Sancho
Panza and Dulcinea. The variations are not confined to a merely
abstract or formal treatment of the material but set before us a
picture of the attributes of the characters and a description of some
of their spectacular adventures. (5), Lastly the _Enigma Variations_
for orchestra by Elgar, so-called because the identity of the basic
theme is not revealed. The variations are character-pieces which for
individuality and charm are a lasting glory to the genius of the
composer.[84]

[Footnote 84: For a detailed account see the third volume of D.G.
Mason's _Appreciation of Music_ series.]

We shall now analyze, with suggestive comments, two[85] of the
well-known sets of Beethoven: the first movement of the Sonata, op.
26, and the _Six Variations on an original theme_, op. 34. The
variations from the Sonata are an early work; but, although definitely
sectionalized and with only one change of tonality, they clearly
reveal Beethoven's freedom of conception and his aversion to
stereotyped treatment. The theme itself is a suave, appealing melody,
already cited as an example of a sixteen-measure sentence, and
admirably suited for variation purposes, since it arouses at once the
expectation of the listener.[86] The first variation is a kind of
shadowy, mysterious outline of the theme just presented, as if the
composer were musing upon the latent possibilities of his material.
There is a quickening of interest in the second variation which, with
the theme in the bass, may be likened to a 'cello solo of a mildly
bravura nature. (Note the fantastic accents on weak beats in measures
18, 22, 23, and 24.) In the third variation comes a complete contrast
in mood; the key is changed to A-flat minor and the theme is
transformed into an elegy, all its joy crushed out. The movement
abounds in impassioned dissonances, always emphasized by _sf_ marks,
and the throbbing pulsations of the bass--in the second phrase--give a
tragic intensity of feeling. With the fourth variation there enters
that spirit of playfulness so characteristic of Beethoven--the
movement being, in fact, a miniature Scherzo. The fifth and last
variation is an idyllic revery in which the composer reviews and
amplifies the many beautiful fancies which his imagination has
conceived, and closes with a coda, based on the motive of the main
theme, of tranquillity and satisfaction.

[Footnote 85: These compositions are not printed in the Supplement, as
it may be assumed that the student can readily procure them. They are
published in a number of editions.]

[Footnote 86: For some illuminating comments on the whole Sonata see
Baxter Perry's _Descriptive Analysis of Pianoforte Works_. (The
Theodore Presser Co.)]

The set in F major, op. 34, is a striking illustration of Beethoven's
fondness for mediant relationship, since no two variations are in the
same key; the tonic of each being a _third_ below that of the
preceding. The Key-scheme is F, D, B-flat, G, E-flat, C minor; and
then, through the descent of a fifth, back to the home-key, or in
actual notes:

[Music]

The first variation is a highly embellished treatment of the opening
theme; the melodic outline being merely hinted at in unimportant parts
of the phraseology, _e.g._

[Music: original theme]

[Music: 1st Variation]

Written in the old ornate style, it is of interest chiefly for the
pianistic effect. In the second Variation we have a change both of
time and key; the impression being that of a distant march for men's
voices or for soft trombones. The third Variation, again with change
of time and key, illustrates Beethoven's fondness for a subtle
outlining of the theme. In the fourth Variation the theme is
transformed into a Minuet of graceful swing; and in the next Variation
a strong contrast is afforded by the Funeral March, the minor mode
being used for the first time. The last Variation--in the
home-key--gives a brilliant summing up of the characteristic features
of the theme. Note especially the reminiscent effect of the closing
measures.




CHAPTER IX

THE SONATA-FORM AND ITS FOUNDERS, EMMANUEL BACH AND HAYDN


We have now set forth, with representative illustrations, all the
fundamental forms of instrumental music, _i.e._, the Canon, Fugue and
Invention, the Two and Three-part forms, the Rondo and the Varied Air.
Through the perfecting of these means of expression music became a
living language of communication, ready for that development which,
through the genius of the Classic and Romantic masters, it was
destined to show. The essential feature of all the above forms is the
emphasis laid on _one theme_. This is strictly true of the polyphonic
forms, the Canon, Fugue[87] and Invention and of the Two-part form;
and although in the Three-part form we have a second theme, this is
merely for contrast and is often of rather slight import. The same
comment holds true of the Rondo where, notwithstanding the new
contrasting themes of the episodes, the centre of attraction is the
_single main theme_, to which constant recurrence is made. Obviously
the Varied Air is the expansion of a single theme. But the principal
characteristic of the Sonata-Form, now to be studied, is that we find
therein _two themes_ of coequal importance, which may well be compared
to the hero and heroine of a novel or the two leading characters in a
drama. It is true that a composer will often in the creations of his
imagination show a marked preference for one theme over the other;
just as, in the family group to which the child owes its life, either
the man or the woman is likely to be the stronger character. But as
there can be no child without two parents, so the organism of the
Sonata-Form derives its vitality from the presence and interaction of
two living musical personalities, the first and second themes. The
first theme is so called because it is the one first presented and
because it generally furnishes the prevailing rhythmic pulse of the
movement. Yet the second theme,--exactly as important in its own way,
is often of a greater beauty; its title of "second theme" implying
nothing of a secondary nature, but merely its position in order of
appearance. No greater step was ever taken in the growth of musical
structure than this introduction of a second coequal theme; for the
principle of duality, of action and reaction between two forces, runs
throughout nature both human and physical, as is seen from the import
of the terms: man and woman, active and passive, positive and
negative, heat and cold, light and darkness. The first theme, in fact,
often resembles, in its vigor and directness, a masculine personality;
while the second theme, in grace and tenderness, resembles the
feminine. As long as music confined itself to the presentation of but
one main theme it was hampered by the same limitations which beset the
early Greek tragedians, in whose primitive plays[88] we find but one
chief actor. The introduction of a second theme can not be attributed
to _any single man_; indeed it resulted from a tendency of the times,
the demand of which was for more homophonic melodies rather than for
an elaborate polyphonic treatment of a single one. Embryonic traces of
a second theme we find in D. Scarlatti (see Supplement No. 40) and in
Sebastian Bach himself.[89] Scarlatti,[90] in fact, was often hovering
close to the Sonata-Form and in the example just cited actually
achieved it. The systematic employment of the second-theme principle,
however, is commonly attributed to Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788), although
an undue amount of praise, by certain German scholars, has been given
his achievements to the exclusion of musicians from other nations who
were working along the same lines. Any fair historical account of the
development of the Sonata-Form should recognize the Italians,
Sammartini and Galuppi; the gifted Belgian Gossec, who exercised such
a marked influence in Paris, and above all, the Bohemian Johann
Stamitz (1717-1757), the leader of the famous Mannheim Orchestra, of
whom we shall speak further when we come to the orchestra as a medium.
In many of Stamitz's Symphonies we find the essential first-movement
structure (_i.e._, tripartite grouping with a clear second theme) and,
as Riemann says in his _Handbuch der Musikgeschichte_, "Their sincere
phraseology, their boldness of conception and the masterly _thematic
development_ give Stamitz's works lasting value. Haydn and Mozart rest
absolutely upon his shoulders."[91]

[Footnote 87: Except in the comparatively rare cases where we have a
Fugue on two subjects.]

[Footnote 88: Illuminating comments on this point will be found in
_Outlines of Musical Form_ from W.H. Hadow's _Studies in Modern Music_
(2nd Series).]

[Footnote 89: See the prelude in D major of the second book of the
_Well-tempered Clavichord_.]

[Footnote 90: For further information consult the first chapter of
J.S. Shedlock's _The Pianoforte Sonata_.]

[Footnote 91: For an extended account of this development see the
second chapter, Vol. II, of _The Art of Music_ (The National Society
of Music, N.Y.). See also Chapter XIX of Pratt's _History of Music_.]

The other marked characteristic of the Sonata-Form is the _second_
part which is known as the Development Section; for, as we shall soon
explain, the structure as a whole is tripartite. In this portion of
the movement the composer has an opportunity to improvise, as it were,
with his material, using one theme or both as already presented. Dry
and labored development sections may, of course, be found in certain
Sonatas and Symphonies, but in the great works of such masters as
Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikowsky and d'Indy the development is the most
exciting part of the movement. The hearer is conducted through a
musical excursion; every device of rhythmic variety, of modulatory
change and polyphonic imitation being employed to enhance the beauty
of the themes and to reveal their latent possibilities.

Before going further, it is well to point out a confusion which often
arises between the terms Sonata and Sonata-Form. When we speak of
Sonata-_Form_ we mean invariably the structural treatment as to number
of themes, key-relationship, etc., of _any single_ movement within a
series.[92] By the term Sonata is meant a composition generally in
three or four movements, _e.g._, First Movement, Slow Movement, Minuet
or Scherzo and Finale; of which, in most examples of the classic
school, the First Movement--and often the last--were in Sonata-Form.
An alternative name, indeed, for Sonata-Form is First Movement Form.
Beginning with Beethoven, however, composers began to exhibit great
freedom in the application of the Sonata-Form. We find Sonatas of
Beethoven, notably the set op. 31, in which every movement (even the
Scherzo) is in Sonata Form or a modification thereof; on the other
hand, there are compositions, entitled Sonatas, in which not a single
movement is in pure Sonata-Form, _e.g._, Beethoven's Twelfth Sonata,
op. 26. These comments apply equally to many other large instrumental
works. For a symphony is merely a Sonata for Orchestra, a
String-Quartet a composition--of the same general type--for four solo
instruments[93] and there is, furthermore, a large group of ensemble
compositions: Sonatas for Violin (or any solo-instrument) and
Pianoforte; Trios, often for unusual combinations, _e.g._, Brahms's
_Trio for Violin, Horn and Pianoforte_; Quintets and even Septets--in
all of which the distinction must be made between the terms Sonata and
Sonata-Form. Nor is there any rigid rule in regard to number of
movements or the moods expressed therein. The classic Sonata, Symphony
or Quartet, as we have stated above, generally contained three or four
movements, of which the first would be direct and vigorous in
nature--a summons to attention--cast in sonata-form, with a wealth of
material organically treated, and requiring from the listener
concentrated attention. The second movement was generally much simpler
in form, affording relief after the tension of the preceding
movement--its themes of a lyric nature, often with great depth of
emotion, sometimes even of tragic import. The third movement, Minuet
or Scherzo, would portray the light, humorous side of life; and the
Finale, joyful and optimistic--its themes often bearing strongly the
sense of finality--would close the work with a general feeling of
satisfaction. It was Beethoven who first modified these principles to
suit his own poetic needs. Thus we find some of his Sonatas with only
two movements; some have three, some have four. One of Schumann's
Symphonies contains five movements and Rubinstein's _Ocean Symphony_
seven! When we reach the modern school, we shall see further freedom
as to number, order and type of movements.

[Footnote 92: The form is also sometimes used independently, as in
Brahms's _Rhapsody in G minor_ and often, of course, in the Overture.]

[Footnote 93: _I.e._, 1st Violin, 2d Violin, Viola and Violoncello.]

We are now prepared to sum up the essential characteristics of the
Sonata-Form; for there is no structure in which it is more important
for the music-lover to acquire the art of listening easily, naturally
and with a minimum of friction. The Sonata-Form is the instrumental
form "par excellence"--the Gothic Cathedral[94] of music--and has
retained its place, not because of any slavish regard for form as
such, but because it has been worked out, perfected and utilized by
the greatest of the composers. Any form with a beginning, a middle and
an ending, _i.e._, presenting material worthy of consideration, which
allows this material to grow and realize its inherent possibilities
and then sums the matter up in a convincing, objective close; which,
furthermore, exemplifies the great principle of Duality, _i.e._,
reveals _two_ musical personalities, has as little need for
argumentative sanction as a tree or a human being. The Sonata-Form--often,
to be sure, with free modifications--predominates in all the large
instrumental compositions of the Classic, Romantic and Modern
Composers, notably of such men as Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms, César
Franck, Tchaikowsky, d'Indy and Sibelius. Anyone unable readily to
follow movements in this form, if he thinks he is receiving the
complete message of the music, is his own dupe. It would be as logical
to expect to enjoy the beauties of architecture without perceiving the
difference between a nave and a bowling-alley. The obvious way to
understand the meaning of a language is to know something of the
principles of structure and expression in that language. Music is in
very truth a language; and far too many people get from it nothing
save the appeal which comes from its emotional power. This exciting
experience is important, we may frankly acknowledge, but there are no
reasons, save apathy and indifference, why the hearer should not have
all this and more too. There is no conflict between warm emotions and
an intelligent, well-trained mind. They should go hand in hand; and in
any complete artistic appreciation each is indispensable.[95]

[Footnote 94: See the eloquent comments on this analogy by d'Indy in
his _Course in Composition_, Vol. II, Chap. 5.]

[Footnote 95: "Art is not more a riot of the passions than it is a
debauch of the senses; it contains, no doubt, sensuous and emotional
elements, the importance of which there is no need to undervalue, but
it is only artistic if it subordinate them to the paramount claims of
reason." W.H. Hadow, _Studies in Modern Music_ (second series),
preface.]

The three main divisions of the Sonata-Form, with their essential
features, are the following: (1) the Exposition, in which two themes
in different tonalities are announced for the consideration--and, as
the composer hopes, the pleasure--of the hearer. In the works of Haydn
and Mozart this contrast of key was invariably that of Tonic and
Dominant, _e.g._, C major and G major, or of major and relative minor,
_e.g._, A-flat major and F minor. Beginning, however, with Beethoven
great emphasis has been laid on _mediant_ relationship, _e.g._, C
major and E major or C major and A-flat major; and in modern
composers[96] this more stimulating change has largely superseded the
former tonic and dominant grouping, _e.g._, Brahms's _Third Symphony_.
We thus see that the harmonic feature of the Exposition is _Duality_
of Key-relationship. Between these two main themes there is always a
modulatory connection or Bridge Passage which, in the time of Haydn,
was generally of a very perfunctory, stereotyped character. Wagner
once sarcastically remarked that Haydn's transitions reminded him of
the clatter of dishes between courses at a royal feast. In Mozart we
find the bridge-passage more deftly planned, more organically
connected with what precedes and follows; but it was Beethoven who, in
this portion of the movement, first revealed its possibilities.
Throughout his works the bridge-passage is never a mere mechanical
modulation or a floundering about until the introduction of the second
theme, but is so conceived that the interest of the hearer is
increasingly aroused until, at the entrance of the second theme, he is
in the highest state of expectancy.[97] A bridge-passage of this kind
often has a subsidiary theme of its own, or even several melodic
phrases, and is planned as carefully as the action by which a
dramatist leads up to the entrance of his heroine. After the second
theme we generally find a closing theme to round out the Exposition as
a whole. This practice dates from Haydn and has been much expanded by
modern composers. Witness the glorious climactic effect in César
Franck's _Symphony_ and in Brahms's _D major Symphony_ of the closing
themes in the Expositions of the first movements. For many years it
was the invariable custom to repeat the Exposition, and in Classic
Symphonies we always find a double bar with marks of repeat and two
endings. This practice was not an integral part of the form but was
adopted so that the hearer, by going over the themes of the Exposition
twice, might follow more intelligently their growth in the
Development. With the advance in public appreciation this repeating of
the Exposition has been largely abandoned; for there is no doubt that
to begin all over again, when a certain objective point has been
reached, breaks the continuous flow of the movement.[98]

[Footnote 96: Some composers have also experimented with still freer
key-relationships.]

[Footnote 97: For striking examples see the Expositions of the first
movements of Beethoven's _Third Symphony_ and of Tchaikowsky's _Sixth
Symphony_.]

[Footnote 98: The ultra-conservative attitude of Brahms is shown by
his retention of the double bar and repeat, although this is often
ignored by modern conductors.]

(2) The Development, for which the Germans have the happy name of
"Freie Phantasie," or free phantasy; the composer thus giving rein to
his imagination and doing whatever he pleases, so long as he holds the
interest of his hearers and neither becomes verbose nor indulges in
mere mechanical manipulation. There are, alas! developments in which
the composer exhausts his themes and his hearers too;[99] but on work
of this kind, since it is not real development but labored jugglery,
no powder need be wasted. Beethoven began the practice, in his
Developments, of not confining himself to the themes of the Exposition
but of introducing an entirely new theme, whenever the main material
had fulfilled its purpose. The single most exciting factor in a good
development is the freedom and wealth of modulation revealed by the
daring genius of the creator; the effect being Plurality of
Key-relationship, in distinction from the two closely related keys of
the Exposition. It would often seem as if we were taken up into high
mountains or borne away to distant seas. For illustrations of this
"free phantasy" note the end of the Development in the first movement
of Beethoven's _Second Symphony_ where, after great stress has been
laid in the Exposition on the two basic keys of D major and A major,
we are left in the distant tonality of C-sharp major and are then
whirled back, by a dramatic change, into the home-key of the third
part. One of the most interesting studies in the workings of a great
mind is to observe how Beethoven, in his developments, allows the
excitement to subside and yet never entirely die out, and how deftly
he leads the hearer onward to the summing up of the main themes of the
exposition.

[Footnote 99: It was probably a development of this kind which called
forth the characteristic comment from Debussy who once remarked to a
friend at a concert, "Let us flee! he is going to develop."]

(3) The Recapitulation or Résumé, in which both the themes of the
Exposition are reasserted, each in the home key--a strong final
emphasis thus being laid on _Unity_ of Tonality. The bridge-passage
has to be correspondingly changed, for now the modulation is between
two themes _both_ in the _same key_. To achieve such a modulation is
quite a "tour de force" as every musician knows, and often taxed the
ingenuity even of the great Beethoven. The skill by which he always
made the second theme sound fresh and vital is astounding. For a case
of "academic fumbling"--mere treading of water--in this adjustment of
key relationship, see the Recapitulation of the first movement of
Brahms's Second Symphony. To secure unbroken continuity and to avoid
vain repetitions[100] there is no portion of the Sonata-Form which has
been more modified by the inventive genius of modern composers and by
the tendency exemplified in the Symphonic Poem (to be explained in due
season). The general validity of Restatement, as shown in the
Recapitulation of the Sonata-Form, cannot be questioned; for that
depends, as so often pointed out, upon the human craving to enjoy once
more, after intervening contrast, something which has originally given
pleasure. Furthermore this sound psychological principle finds an
analogy in our own life: with its early years of striving, its middle
period of development and its closing years of climactic retrospect
and satisfaction. There is a corresponding structural treatment in the
dénoûment of a drama. In the classic composers, the Recapitulation is
almost always a literal repetition of the Exposition, although
Beethoven began to be freer, _e.g._, in the climax of the Coriolanus
overture, where he modifies the form to meet the dramatic needs of the
subject.[101] Modern composers, however, have felt that much of this
repetition was superfluous; and when they do repeat both themes, one
or the other is freely varied and made still more eloquent. For
examples, see the résumé of the first movements of Franck's
_Symphony_, of Brahms's _First Symphony_ and of Tchaikowsky's
_Sixth_. The Recapitulation is often abridged by omitting the first
theme altogether and dwelling exclusively on the second; as for
example, in the Finale of Schumann's _Fourth Symphony_ and in
Sinigaglia's Overture, _Le Baruffe Chiozzotte_.[102]

[Footnote 100: See Grétry's amusing comments on the Sonata-Form cited
by Romain Rolland in the essays _Musicians of Former Days_.]

[Footnote 101: See also Wagner's comments on the _Third Leonora
Overture_, cited by Ernest Newman in his _Musical Studies_, pp.
134-135.]

[Footnote 102: Additional illustrations of this treatment may be found
in Chabrier's Overture to _Gwendoline_ and in the first movement of
F.S. Converse's _String Quartet_.]

It remains to speak of the beginning and end of the Sonata-Form. With
Haydn it became the custom, not necessarily invariable, to introduce
the body of the movement by a Prelude which, in early days, was of
slight texture and import--often a mere preliminary "flourish of
trumpets," a presenting of arms. In Mozart we find some examples of
more artistic treatment, notably in the Overture to the _Magic Flute_
and in the prelude to the C major Quartet with its stimulating
dissonances. But in this case, as in so many others, it was Beethoven
who first showed what a Prelude should be: a subtle means of arousing
the interest and expectancy of the hearer; the effect as carefully
planned as the portico leading to a temple. To usher in the theme of
the Exposition in a truly exciting manner every means of modulation
and rhythm is employed; famous illustrations being the introductions
to the first movements of the Second, Fourth and Seventh symphonies;
and, in modern literature, those of the first movements of Brahms's
_First Symphony_ and of Tchaikowsky's _Fifth_. It also became
customary to prolong the end of the movement by what is termed a Coda;
the same tendency being operative that is found in the peroration to a
speech or in the spire of a cathedral, _i.e._, the human instinct to
end whatever we attempt as impressively and completely as possible.
This Coda, which, in Haydn and Mozart, was often a mere iteration of
trite chords--a ceasing to go--was so expanded by Beethoven that it
was the real glory of the whole movement. In fact so many eloquent
treatments of the main material were reserved for the Coda that it
often became a _second_ development; and such was its scope that the
form may be considered to have _four_ parts instead of three, _i.e._,
1, Exposition, 2, Development, 3, Recapitulation, 4, Coda; parts 4 and
2 balancing each other in the same way as 3 and 1. For two of the most
famous examples in all Beethoven literature see the Codas to the First
movement of the _Third Symphony_ and to the Finale of the _Eighth_.

We now present a tabular view of the Sonata-Form summing up the
features just commented upon.


THE SONATA-FORM OR FIRST-MOVEMENT FORM

___________________________________________________________________________
A                         | B                         | A´
Exposition                | Development               | Recapitulation
__________________________|___________________________|____________________
                          |                           |
Introduction (optional)   | Free treatment and        | First Theme,
First Theme               |  expansion, especially    |  connecting passage
Modulatory bridge-passage |  modulatory and rhythmic, |  leading to
Second Theme              |  of the themes already    | Second Theme (often
Closing Theme             |  presented                |  in home-key, but
(Duality of               | Sometimes new material    |  not always)
 Key-relationship)        |  introduced               | Closing Theme
                          | (Plurality of Key)        | Coda
                          |                           | (Special stress
                          |                           |  laid on the main
                          |                           |  tonality. Unity of
                          |                           |  Key)
__________________________|___________________________|____________________

For actual musical examples it seems best to begin with the works of
Haydn. This exclusion of Philip Emmanuel Bach is not meant to minimize
what we owe him for his preliminary efforts in formulating the
tripartite Sonata structure, with its two themes and its Development
portion. Haydn is on record as saying that it was his study of six
Sonatas of Emmanuel Bach which laid the foundations for his own
instrumental style. But on the whole, the compositions of Emmanuel
Bach are of interest rather from a historical point of view than from
one purely artistic. The object of this book, furthermore, is not to
give a complete account of the evolution[103] of the Sonata-Form; but,
accepting the existence of standard works which employ this form, to
enable the student to gain a more complete appreciation of those
works. P.E. Bach wrote in the so-called "galant style"[104] of the
period which has, for our modern ears, too much embellishment and too
many meaningless, rhapsodic passages. He made a sincere effort to
invent pure instrumental melody, _i.e._, musical expression suited to
various instruments that should be unhampered by the too definite
balance of the dance forms, by polyphonic complexities or by the
conventional artifices of operatic style. But though he wrote
skilfully for his instrument and though his style has a certain quaint
charm, on the whole it is lacking in genuine melodic warmth and
feeling. These qualities alone keep works immortal.[105]

[Footnote 103: Those interested in this development should consult
_The Pianoforte Sonata_ by J.S. Shedlock, and above all, d'Indy's
_Course of Musical Composition_, Part III.]

[Footnote 104: This, according to d'Indy, was so-called because
pleasing to the ladies who played an important part in the elaborate
court ceremonial of that day.]

[Footnote 105: Six of P.E. Bach's Sonatas edited by von Bülow are
readily accessible and some excellent comments upon the most
significant ones may be found in Shedlock (see above).]

In Josef Haydn (1782-1809) we are face to face with a musician of a
different type. Haydn is popularly known as the father of the Sonata,
the Symphony and the String-Quartet; but, according to Edward
Dickinson,[106] this estimate is something of an exaggeration, for "it
overlooks the fact that a large number of composers were struggling
with the same problem and working along similar lines. Haydn was
simply the greatest in _genius_ of the instrumental writers of his
day. His works have lived by virtue of the superiority, _i.e._, the
greater spontaneity and vitality, of their contents. He should be
called the 'foster-father,' rather than the father of the symphony and
quartet for he raised them from feebleness to strength and authority."
To him must be given the honor of establishing the types of
instrumental composition which became the foundations of modern music.
Haydn, moreover, was the first musician since Sebastian Bach who had a
real personality which may be felt in his works. To speak of a piece
of music as "Haydnish" conveys as distinct a meaning as to refer to a
poetic stanza as "Miltonic." When Haydn arrived on the scene,
music--through the labors of many earnest workers--had become a
language of definite expression, with a logical grammar and with
principles of structure. The time was ripe for the use of this
language in a more artistic way, _i.e._, for a more intense personal
expression and for more subtle treatment of the material. The composer
could count upon the public following his points; and with Haydn,
whose heart beat in sympathy with the common people, music begins to
be a truly popular art.

[Footnote 106: See his _Study of the History of Music_, p. 154.]

The striking features in Haydn's works are three: (1) The wealth of
spontaneous and sparkling melodies, for he was born with this lyric
gift and never had to cudgel his wits for a tune. That instrumental
melody could make such sudden progress as we find between the dryness
of Emmanuel Bach and the freshness of Haydn, was long a puzzle to
scholars, and only recently has the proof been submitted that Haydn
was largely of Croatian ancestry. Now the Croatians of Southern
Austria are one of the most musical races in the world, with a wealth
of folk-songs and dances. Haydn therefore did not have to "invent"
melodies in the ordinary sense of the term; they were his birthright.
Many of his melodies are adaptations of actual folk-songs[107] or
original melodies coming from an imagination saturated with the
folk-song spirit.[108] For this reason they seem like wild flowers in
their perennial freshness and charm. (2) The precision and clarity
with which his ideas are presented. These qualities were due to his
well-balanced and logical intellect that impressed everyone with whom
he came in contact. His style, moreover, was the result of
indefatigable labor, for he was largely self-taught. If the balance of
his phrases and the general symmetry of his style seem to our modern
taste a bit excessive, we must remember that he was a pioneer and
could run no risks in the way of non-acceptance of his message through
puzzling complexities. Everything must be so clear that the ordinary
mind could at once accept it. Nor is the "sing-song," "square-toed"
element so prevalent in Haydn as is commonly supposed. In his melody a
distinct feature--no doubt of racial origin--is his fondness for odd
rhythms of three, five and seven measures, of which examples abound in
the Quartets. In his Minuets and Finales there is a rollicking effect
of high spirits which could never have been attained by mere labored
pedantry. In his mature works we find a pervading spontaneity which is
one of the outstanding examples in all literature of "art concealing
art." Never do these works smell of the lamp, and let us remember it
is far easier to criticize them than to create them.[109]

[Footnote 107: See for example the _Salomon Symphony in E-flat_, every
movement of which is founded on a Croatian folk-song.]

[Footnote 108: For a comprehensive account of this whole subject
consult the _Oxford History of Music_, Vol. V, Chapter VIII, and
Mason's _Beethoven and His Forerunners_, essay on Haydn.]

[Footnote 109: Witness for example, the attitude taken by Wallace in
his _Threshold of Music_, pp. 148-153.]

(3) The skillful and eloquent manner in which Haydn adapted his ideas
to his favorite media of expression: the orchestra and the
string-quartet. Although he wrote a number of pianoforte sonatas,
these works, on the whole, do not represent his best thought. For they
were composed in the transitional period between the waning influence
of the harpsichord and the advent of the pianoforte, not yet come to
its own. But as for the orchestra, Haydn established[110] the grouping
of the three so-called choirs of strings, wood-wind and brass; to
which were gradually added the instruments of percussion. In his works
we begin to enjoy orchestral effect for its own sake: the dashing
vivacity of the strings, the mellowness of the wood-wind, the
sonority and grandeur of the brass. Instrumental works had formerly
been composed in black and white, but now we have the interplay of
orchestral colors. No less paramount was Haydn's influence in the
handling of the four solo instruments known as the String Quartet. In
his Quartets the voices are so highly individualized that it seems as
if four intelligent and witty persons were holding a musical
conversation. Such melodic and rhythmic freedom were hitherto unknown
and his style became the point of departure for modern practice.[111]
Both Mozart and Beethoven, those great masters of the String-Quartet,
acknowledged their debt of gratitude to Haydn. His success in
establishing the formation of the orchestra and the string-quartet was
chiefly due to the inestimable advantage he enjoyed of being, for so
many years, chapel-master to those celebrated patrons of music the
Princes Paul and Nicholas Esterhazy, at whose country-seat of Esterhaz
he had at his disposal, for free experimentation, a fine body of
players.[112] Here Haydn worked from 1762 until 1790; and, to quote
his own words, "could, as conductor of an orchestra, make experiments,
observe what produced an effect and be as bold as I pleased. I was cut
off from the world, there was no one to confuse or torment me and I
was forced to become original."[113]

[Footnote 110: For the early and significant achievements in
orchestral effect of the Mannheim Orchestra under its famous leader
Stamitz, see _The Art of Music_, Vol. 8, Chapter II.]

[Footnote 111: For interesting comments on the String Quartets see
Hadden's _Life of Haydn_, pp. 174-175.]

[Footnote 112: _The Oxford History of Music_, Vol. V, Chapter I, and
_The Present State of Music in Germany_ by Burney present a vivid
picture of the times and of the results of 18th century patronage.]

[Footnote 113: For an entertaining account of the two London visits,
which took place during the latter part of his career, see the essay
_Haydn in London_ by Krehbiel in his _Music and Manners_.]

As to the formal side of Haydn's work, he is responsible for several
distinct improvements. The different divisions of the movement are
more clearly defined--sometimes perhaps, as we look back, a bit
rigidly--but no more so than was necessary for a public just beginning
to follow easily the main outlines of the form. Haydn leads up to his
objective points in a clear-cut, logical way and there is little of
"running off into the sand" or of those otherwise aimless passages so
prevalent in Emmanuel Bach. In his best works, notably in many of the
Quartets, there is also more individuality secured for the second
theme;[114] although for highly personified and moving second themes
we have to await the greater genius of Mozart and Beethoven. Whenever
we are inclined to call Haydn's style old-fashioned we must remember
that he wrote before the note of intense personal expression--the
so-called subjective element, prominent in Beethoven--had come to the
fore. The time just prior to Haydn had been called the "Pig-tail
period" (Zopf-Periode) in reference to the stiff and precise dress and
manners which had their counterpart in formality of artistic
expression. Only towards the end of his career do we feel that breath
of freedom in life and art which was generated by the French
Revolution (beginning in 1791) and by the many political and social
changes of that stirring period. From Haydn on, much more attention
should be paid to the content and meaning of the music than to the
formal handling of the material. In all worthy music, in fact, the
chief point of interest is the _music itself_ which speaks to us in
its own language of sound and rhythm. A knowledge of form is but a
means to an end: for the composer, that he may express himself clearly
and convincingly, and for the listener, that he may readily receive
the message set forth. In Haydn's music we find the expression of a
real personality--though of an artless, child-like type, without great
depth of emotion or the tragic intensity of a Beethoven. Haydn was not
a philosopher, or a man of broad vision. During his epoch, artists
hardly dared to be introspective. His imagination gave birth to music,
simple though it was, as freely as the earth puts forth flowers; but,
although he wore a wig, he had a heart which was in good working
operation even in his sixty-fourth year when, during his London visit,
he fell in love with a charming widow, Madame Schroeter, whom he would
have married had not his wife been still alive.

[Footnote 114: In many cases Haydn's second theme is merely a varied
version of the first.]

We should acquire the catholic taste to enjoy every composer for what
he really was and not criticise him for what he was not--a state which
would imply necessarily different conditions. In criticism there is no
worse error, or one more often made, than that of blaming Haydn
because he was not Beethoven; or, in our times, Tchaikowsky because
his music does not resemble that of Brahms. Blasé pedants often call
Haydn's music "tame"; we might as well apply that adjective to the
antics of a sportive kitten. As for the "amiable prattle" of his style
we do not speak in a derogatory way of the fresh, innocent voices of
children, though we need not listen to them continually. Haydn, in
short, is Haydn,[115] and the vitality and sincerity of his works
will always keep them immortal. In these feverish days we may dwell
upon the simplicity of "Papa Haydn," as he was affectionately called;
who would kneel down before beginning work, and who inscribed his
scores "In nomine Domini." His modest estimate of his own powers
cannot fail to touch our hearts. "I know," he said, "that God has
bestowed a talent upon me, and I thank him for it. I think I have done
my duty, and been of use in my generation by my works; let others do
the same."

[Footnote 115: Haydn's life is of great interest in showing the traits
which are reflected in his music. Everyone should read the biography
in Grove's Dictionary, Vol. II, p. 348, and the excellent life by M.
Brenet in _Les Maîtres de la Musique_.]

We shall now make a few comments on the illustrations in the
Supplement (see Exs. No. 41 and 42): the Finale of the _Sonata for
Pianoforte in E-flat major_ and the first movement of the so-called
_Surprise Symphony in G major_. Haydn, of all composers, needs little
verbal elucidation; his music speaks for itself and everyone must be
sensitive to its vitality and charm. We regret that it is not
practical to give examples from the Quartets which, in many
respects--especially in the Minuets with their inexhaustible
invention[116] and their bubbling spirits--represent Haydn at his
best. But the real effect of his Quartets is so bound up with
idiomatic treatment of the strings that in any transcription for
pianoforte the music suffers grievously. It is through the score,
however, that everyone should become familiar, with the contents of
the Quartets in C major, op. 76, and D major, op. 64; the Finale of
the latter being one of the supreme examples in all chamber
literature[117] of rhythmic vitality.

[Footnote 116: Haydn himself used to speak of his melodic invention as
"a stream which bursts forth from an overflowing reservoir."]

[Footnote 117: In every large city there are, of course, frequent
opportunities to hear the Quartets of Haydn played by such famous
organizations as the Flonzaley Quartet etc. The student is urged to
take advantage of these occasions.]

The Finale of the E-flat sonata, in strict Sonata-form, begins with a
lively eight-measure phrase which is at once repeated a tone higher.
The extension of the sentence shows Haydn's freedom in phraseology;
for, beginning with measure 17, we should have to count the measures
1, 2, 3, 3a, 4, 5, 6, 6a, 7, 7a, 8, 8a. In the second theme, which
begins in the 44th measure, note the piquant dissonances[118] coupled
with sforzando accents. Haydn surely liked spice as well as anyone!
The rest of the Exposition is taken up with closing passages which
accentuate the tonality of the second theme--B-flat major. The
Development needs no comment, as the correspondence between the
original material and Haydn's treatment is perfectly clear. The
Recapitulation is a literal repetition of the Exposition, with the two
themes as usual in the tonic key. The movement may be considered an
example of Sonata-form in its clearest manifestation, hence an
excellent one for preliminary analytical study.

[Footnote 118: Those who erroneously think that there is nothing of
the dissonant element in Haydn should examine the Prelude to _The
Creation_--a real anticipation, in its use of the chromatic element,
of _Tristan and Isolde_.]

In the first movement of the _Surprise Symphony_, before the body of
the work begins, we have an early example of the Prelude. This slow
Prelude, short though it be, is most carefully planned; with its
crescendo from _pp_ to a _sf_ forte and its free modulation it arouses
a genuine feeling of expectancy. The first theme of the Exposition
(Vivace Assai) is a happy illustration of Haydn's sparkling rhythm,
and as tossed off by the violins is of irresistible gaiety. The reader
is asked to remember that the comments on this symphony--and on all
subsequent symphonic works--are based upon the orchestral score; also
that the composition, when separated from its orchestral dress,
necessarily loses much of its real eloquence. Thus the first theme, of
a folk-dance character, is a typical violin melody; only strings--with
their incisiveness and power of subtle phrasing--can fully express its
piquancy. For private study or for class-room work, a practical
version is that for four hands; or better still, when possible, the
arrangement for two pianofortes.[119] The second phrase of the first
theme is considerably expanded by repetition, as if unable to stop
from sheer exuberance, but finally reaches a cadence in the dominant
key in the 32nd measure. We are at once taken back, however, to the
home-key of G major; and, in measure 40, the first theme is repeated,
this time delicately embellished with phrases on the flute. From now
on, by reason of the emphasis laid on the key of D major, it is
evident that we are in the transitional passage and are heading
towards the announcement of the second theme. It must be said that
Haydn does not drive very straight at his mark; though it is a
pleasant touch of variety in measures 55-57 to introduce the main
theme in the minor mode, and though the fiery violin passages in the
following measures give an air of considerable excitement. What stands
for the second theme begins in measure 67. This portion of the
movement has no theme with genuine individuality, but consists of
running passages--based exclusively on tonic and dominant harmonies in
the new key, and of little import save one of general vivacity. It is,
however, decidedly alive--not stagnant or flabby--and in the orchestra
it all "comes off." We are rewarded, finally, by a clear-cut closing
theme of jaunty rhythm, _e.g._,

[Music]

which Haydn liked so much that it is presented twice, the second time
slightly embellished. The Exposition closes with the conventional
insistence upon a strong cadence in the key of the second theme. The
Development begins with some rather fragmentary treatment of the first
theme; then, after some fugitive modulation into flat keys, contents
itself with running passages and a series of iterated notes. Of
organic and sustained development, such as Haydn indeed sometimes
attained, there is little trace. Even so we must be chary of sweeping
condemnation; for there are well-planned dynamic contrasts and the
instruments are used in such a natural way--especially the figure in
the double basses (measures 149-153)--that the scene is one of
animation, though perhaps no more than one of aimless gambols. There
is sufficient modulation, so that the principle of Plurality of key is
carried out. We are suddenly but gracefully led back, in measure 155,
to the repetition of the first theme, thus beginning the
Recapitulation. This portion, with certain abbreviations, is an almost
exact duplication of the first part and emphasizes the main tonality
of G major. That Haydn was not forced to this literal repetition
through any lack of fancy is shown by the skilful amplification of the
first theme, in measures 177-184. The whole movement sparkles with
sunshine; and those ponderous "heavy-weights" who criticise it because
it is not deep or "soulful" are looking for qualities which the music
does not pretend to contain. It is the work of a wholesome,
cheerful-hearted man expressing through his favorite language his joy
in life. In listening to the music we have the same delight as in
wandering by the side of a rippling brook. The three remaining
movements of the Symphony require little comment; being readily
accessible they are not given in the Supplement. The second movement,
a set of stereotyped variations, contains the explosive chord which
gave to the work its descriptive title. Needless to say that this
chord does not "surprise" _our_ modern ears to any great extent. The
Minuet is one of Haydn's best--full of queer antics in rhythm and
modulation. The Finale (Allegro di molto), in the Rondo Sonata form,
is the acme of Haydn's vivacity and is a "tour de force" of brilliant
writing for the strings. In many passages they seem fairly to burn.

[Footnote 119: All symphonic scores give a much better effect when
performed on two pianofortes than in a four-hand arrangement for a
single instrument. The freedom in control of both pedals possessed by
each player secures a greater richness and sonority of tone and it is
much easier to make prominent voices stand out in relief.]

Haydn's position in the development of music is of the first
importance. Whatever his works may "mean," they contain a rhythmic
vitality which will keep them alive for ever, and their "child-like
cheerfulness and drollery" will charm away care and sorrow as long as
the world shall last.




CHAPTER X

MOZART. THE PERFECTION OF CLASSIC STRUCTURE AND STYLE


Although Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus[120] (1756-1791), was, in regard to
art problems, no more of a broad thinker than Haydn (Mozart and
Schubert being pre-eminently men whose whole nature centered in
music), yet on hearing his works we are aware that aspects of form and
content have certainly changed for the better. In the first place he
was more highly gifted than Haydn; he had from his infancy the
advantage of a broad cosmopolitan experience, and he was dimly
conscious of the expanding possibilities of musical expression. It is
a perfectly fair distinction to consider Haydn an able, even brilliant
prose-writer, and Mozart a poet. Haydn we can account for, but Mozart
is the genius "born, not made"--defying classification--and his
inspired works seem to fall straight from the blue of Heaven. Whereas
Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert were all of very lowly parentage[121]
(their mothers being cooks--a blessing on their heads!), Mozart's
father and mother were people of considerable general cultivation, and
in particular the father, Leopold Mozart, was an educated man and
somewhat of a composer himself, who since 1743 had been in the service
of the Archbishop of Salzburg, as director of his private orchestra.
An excellent violinist, he had written and published a treatise on
violin playing, which for many years was the standard work on the
subject. Both parents were noted for their good looks, were, moreover,
of strong character and highly respectable in every way. Among their
several children two early exhibited unusual precocity--Maria Anna,
born in 1751, and Wolfgang, still more highly gifted. The stories of
the boy's skill and general delicacy of perception may be exaggerated,
but we have sufficient valid evidence to convince us that he was a
phenomenon absolutely "sui generis." Thus, he began to improvise
between three and four, actually to compose little pieces (which we
have), when he was five, and to perform in public when he was six! In
that very year and continuing for nineteen years (until Mozart had
reached the age of twenty-five) began the memorable series of concert
tours--eleven in all--comprising Vienna, all the chief cities of Italy
and Germany, even Paris and London. These tours the father planned and
carried through with the utmost solicitude and self-sacrifice--not to
exploit the talented children, but to give them a comprehensive
education and artistic experience, and eventually to secure for his
son some distinguished post worthy his abilities. It is quite
impossible to rehearse all the details of these trips. For one who
wishes to investigate for himself they truly make fascinating reading.
A single incident, however, will show how clearly defined were the two
personalities which made up the complete Mozart; and of which one or
the other was in the ascendant throughout his life. As a man, Mozart
was light-hearted, witty--even volatile--fond of society, dancing, and
a good time generally; not of the strongest intellectual power,
judged by modern standards, but, as shown by his marvellous dramatic
insight, by no means the debonair light-weight he is often
represented. Yet whenever music was under consideration he was a
changed being; he became instantly serious, and would suffer no
disrespect to himself or to his art. During the last sad years of his
career in Vienna, when he was in actual want for the bare necessities
of life, a publisher once said to him, "Write in a more popular style,
or I will not print a note of your music or give you a kreutzer."
"Then, my good sir," replied Mozart, "I have only to resign myself and
die of hunger."

[Footnote 120: Amadeus (the beloved of God).]

[Footnote 121: We may appropriately state that in regard to ancestry
and environment all four of the so-called Viennese masters, Haydn,
Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert are distinct refutations of the claims
so persistently made by German scholars that everything good in music
we owe to the Teutons. Haydn was largely Croatian; Mozart was strongly
influenced by non-Teutonic folk-music (Tyrolese melodies frequently
peep out in his works); Schubert's forebears came from Moravia and
Silesia; and Beethoven was partly Dutch. If there be any _single_ race
to which the world owes the art of music it is the Italians, for they
invented most of the instruments and hinted at all the vocal and
instrumental forms. We may be grateful to the Germans for their
persevering appropriation of what others had begun; only let them not
claim _all_ the credit.]

In Mozart's works, in distinction from the unconscious, naïve
folk-song type of Haydn, we find highly wrought instrumental melodies;
although such was his inborn spontaneity of expression that we are
never aware of the labor expended. His works are quite as clear as
those of Haydn, but they show a more conscious individuality of style.
They are not so artless, and the phraseology is more elastic--less cut
and dried. There is a higher imaginative vitality; trite, mechanical
repetitions are in general avoided, climaxes are led up to in a more
subtle manner, and a great gain is made in real organic development.
For Mozart, as a master of polyphonic treatment, is second only to
Bach. The most striking single feature in his work is the ceaseless
flow of expressive melody, notably those wondrous tunes found in his
operas, such as "Voi che sapete," "Batti, batti" and numerous others.
He had travelled so widely, so keen was his power of assimilation that
his melodic style embodied and enhanced the best qualities of
contemporary Italian, French and German practice. And yet his innate
genius was of sufficient strength to achieve this result without
lapsing into formal eclecticism. Whatever suggestions he took he made
wholly his own; and his music is nothing if not individual in its
inimitable charm and freshness. Whereas Haydn's music often smacks too
prominently of the soil, with Mozart we have the fine flower of a
broad artistic culture. In his best symphonies and string quartets the
art of music made a distinct advance and began to be capable of
expressing the universal emotions and aspirations of mankind.

The reactive influence--each upon the other--of Haydn (1732-1809) and
Mozart (1756-1791) is a most interesting feature of the period.[122]
By the time Mozart was ripe for his best work Haydn had formulated and
exemplified the main lines of instrumental structure. From this
preparatory work Mozart reaped such an advantage that in his last
compositions there is a spontaneous flowering of genius--a union of
individual content with perfect clarity of style--which has kept them
alive to this day. Haydn's last symphonies, the two Salomon sets
composed for his London tours, show in their turn abundant signs of
the stimulating influence of the younger man. The perennial importance
of form and style cannot be better understood than by recognizing the
fact that both Tchaikowsky and Richard Strauss, two of the most
fearlessly independent of modern composers, have considered Mozart as
their ideal. But even if in Mozart's best works we are not beyond the
preponderating influence of form over substance, they must be judged
on their own intrinsic merits and not with reference to progress made
since--of which, nevertheless, they were an important foundation. His
technique was quite sufficient to express what he had to say. We
seldom feel that the contents are bursting through the form, that the
spirit is too great for the body. Purity of conception and
faultlessness of workmanship were still the desiderata of music. The
world had to wait for a Beethoven before the hearer should be shaken
out of himself by a spiritual power, of which the music at best was
often an inadequate expression. This statement is meant to contain no
disparagement. Because Beethoven was more elemental we must never
belittle the genius of his predecessor. Any familiarity with Mozart's
works will convince us of the gratitude we owe him for his original
harmonies, for the stimulating contrapuntal texture and for the
perfect finish and care for detail found therein. Could we be forever
content with "abstract music"--that which justifies itself by a
fulfilment of its own inherent laws--Mozart's music would remain the
acme of the art. His fame to-day rests upon his string quartets, his
three principal symphonies, and--above all--the operas, of which Don
Giovanni and the Marriage of Figaro are noted examples. For consummate
character-drawing (so that, as Rubinstein remarks, "Each acting
personage has become an immortal type"), for interest sustained by
unflagging musical vitality, for a combination of humor and
seriousness and for ingenious and characteristic handling of the
orchestral forces, these works were unequalled until the advent of
Wagner and even to-day in their own field remain unsurpassed. The real
charm of Mozart--that sunny radiance, at times shot through with a
haunting pathos--eludes verbal description. As well attempt to put
into words the fragrance and charm of a violet. Hazlitt's fine phrase,
apropos of performance, says much in a few words. "Mozart's music
seems to come from the air and should return to it," and the ecstatic
eulogy of Goethe, to whom genius meant Mozart, should be familiar to
all. "What else is genius than that productive power through which
deeds arise, worthy of standing in the presence of God and of Nature,
and which, for this reason, bear results and are lasting? All the
creations of Mozart are of this class; within them there is a
generative force which is transplanted from age to age, and is not
likely soon to be exhausted or devoured."

[Footnote 122: For extended comment, see the _Oxford History of
Music_, Vol. V, p. 246, _seq._]

In studying Mozart's works the special points to be noticed are these:
the wider sweep and freer rhythmic variety of the melodic curve; the
more organic fusion of the different portions of a movement--Mozart's
lines of demarcation being perfectly clear but not so rigid as in
Haydn; the much greater richness of the whole musical fabric, due to
Mozart's marvellous skill in polyphony. The time had not yet come when
the composer could pique the fancy of the hearer by unexpected
structural devices or even lead him off on a false trail as was so
often done by Beethoven. Both Haydn and Mozart are homophonic
composers, _i.e._, the outpouring of individual melodies is the chief
factor in their works; but whereas in Haydn the tune is almost
invariably in the upper voice, in Mozart we find the melody appearing
in any one of the voices and often accompanied with fascinating
imitations. See, in corroboration, any of the first three movements of
the _G minor Symphony_ or the slow movement of the _E-flat major
Symphony_. In the structure of music Mozart made slight changes; the
forms were still fresh--having just been established by Haydn--and
Mozart with his genius filled them to overflowing. His one important
contribution to the development of instrumental form was the
Pianoforte Concerto; but, as a consideration of this would lead us too
far afield, the student is referred to the life of Mozart in Grove's
Dictionary and to the Oxford History, Vol. V. The literature[123]
about Mozart and his works is voluminous. Our chief attention
nevertheless should be centered on the works themselves rather than on
what anyone else writes about them. Certain of these criticisms,
however, are so suggestive and illuminating that the student should
become familiar with them.

[Footnote 123: We recommend especially the refreshing essay by Philip
Hale in _Famous Composers and Their Works_; the chapter on Mozart in
_Beethoven and His Forerunners_ by D.G. Mason; and, as throwing light
on aspects of his personality which are little known, "_Mozart
Revealed in his Own Words_" by Kerst-Krehbiel (see especially the
chapter on Mozart's religious nature, p. 142 and passim); the
fascinating _Reminiscences of Michael Kelly_, a personal friend of the
composer; and, above all, the monumental life of Mozart, unhappily as
yet incomplete, by Wyzewa and St. Foix. The third chapter of Vol. II
of _The Art of Music_ is also well worth reading; and in _Mozart's
Operas, a Critical Study_ by E.J. Dent are found valuable comments on
his dramatic style, so prominent a feature in many of his instrumental
works.]

As illustrations[124] for comment we select the _F major Sonata for
Pianoforte_, the _G minor Symphony_, the _Magic Flute Overture for
Orchestra_ and the little known but most characteristic _Adagio in B
minor for Pianoforte_. Here again, as in the case of Haydn, we must
regret that it is impracticable to give examples from the chamber
music: the String Quartets, the Quintet in G minor or from the
entrancing Clarinet Quintet. Any familiarity with Mozart's genius is
very incomplete which does not comprise the C major Quartet,
especially its heavenly Andante Cantabile; likewise the E-flat major
Quartet in the slow movement of which are the following poignant
dissonances--a striking anticipation of _Tristan and Isolde_.

[Music]

[Footnote 124: The first three compositions are not given in the
Supplement, because readily available in several standard editions.
The same recommendations, as given in connection with Haydn, apply to
the performance of the _G minor Symphony_.]

The F major Sonata is selected to illustrate Mozart's pianoforte style
because it bubbles over with typical Mozartian melody and because the
Sonata-form is the basis of all three movements; in the first and last
strictly employed and in the slow movement somewhat modified. The
structure, while just as clear and easy to follow as that of Haydn,
represents an advance in the sustained interest of the transitional
passages and in the organic treatment of the Development--this being
particularly true of the Finale--the middle portion of the first
movement being not so significant. The Sonata, without prelude, begins
with a soaring, lyric melody in which the customary eight measure
formation is expanded to twelve measures. This expansion is brought
about by an imitative treatment of the fifth measure and is a
convincing example of the flexible phraseology so prominent a feature
in Mozart's style. A balancing sentence of eight measures, with an
extended cadence, brings us to the transition which is to introduce
the second theme. Observe the increasing animation of the rhythm and
how the fresh entry of the second theme (in C major) is enhanced by
the insistence on the contrasting tonality of C minor. In measure 41
there begins the second theme, a graceful melody that is repeated with
heightened fervour and then expanded by means of various modulatory
and rhythmic devices--the interest, for a number of measures, being in
the bass. In measure 71 we have a piquant closing theme which ends in
the "good old way" with some rather formal groups of cadential chords.
The Development is short and, save for the dynamic contrasts in the
middle part, not of particular import. But though a bit naïve it is
neither labored nor dull. The Recapitulation with the necessary
adjustments of key (both themes appearing in F major) corresponds
exactly to the Exposition. In the opening melody of the Slow
movement--a dreamy, sustained Adagio--we see the beautiful use Mozart
made of the "turn," _e.g._,

[Music]

employing it not as meaningless embroidery or to cover up deficiencies
in the instrument but as an integral factor in the melodic line, thus
anticipating Chopin and Wagner with his "essential turn." The movement
is in abridged[125] Sonata-form, _i.e._, there is a regular Exposition
with two themes in the tonic and dominant and a corresponding
Recapitulation, but the Development is entirely omitted and in its
place we find merely two modulatory measures which take us back to the
third part. Such a form arose from the feeling that the Slow Movement
should be one of direct melodic and emotional appeal and should not
concern itself with protracted discussion of the material. The two
closing measures are of a wondrous serenity, peculiar to Mozart. The
Finale, Allegro assai, in complete and elaborate Sonata-form, is one
of superb vigor and dash, the happiest example possible of Mozart's
"joie de vivre." It begins with a brilliant running theme in free
phraseology, and then, after a cadence in measure 14, is at once
followed by an out and out Waltz tune of a very seductive swing.[126]
This is developed to a brilliant climax and then closes _pp_ in a
delicate, wistful manner. The transition, with some canonic imitations
and stimulating sequences, leads us to the second theme at measure 50.
This--one of Mozart's loveliest melodies--is rather exceptionally in
the dominant minor (_i.e._, C minor) and with its mood of pathetic
revery affords a wonderful contrast to the headlong dash of the first
theme. This melody alone would prove that Mozart had his moments of
deep emotion. In measure 65 begins a long closing portion which
resumes the exuberant mood characteristic of the Exposition as a
whole. The Development at first is based upon modulatory changes in
the first theme; and then, towards the middle, occurs a passage which
seems to be a counterpart of the second theme, save that it is in the
major mode. We are now carried onward through a series of passages,
with pungent dissonances and imitative phrases, to a fortissimo
dominant chord; thence through a descending cadenza-like passage we
are whirled back to the Recapitulation. In material and treatment this
corresponds exactly to the Exposition and has the same pianissimo
ending. Such an effect was a touch of genuine originality and was a
delightful contrast to the conventional flourish of trumpets with
which the Finale of the period was expected to end. Music is often
most impressive when most subdued.

[Footnote 125: This modification became a favorite with Beethoven,
notable examples being the Slow movement of the Fifth Sonata, where
the Development is represented by a single chord; the Slow movement of
the D minor Sonata, op. 31; and, above all, the Allegretto Scherzando
of the Eighth Symphony, where a series of contrasted accents keeps the
interest alive and leads most deftly to the Recapitulation.]

[Footnote 126: In measures 20 and 21 may be found some striking
syncopations--an anticipation of what now-a-days is known as
"rag-time."]

The G minor Symphony is universally acknowledged to be the highest
achievement of 18th century instrumental music and is also premonitory
of that subjective spirit peculiar to the 19th century. It will remain
immortal so long as human beings are capable of being touched by a
sincere revelation of emotion combined with a perfection of utterance
which seems fairly Divine. This delicate treatment and this exquisite
finish are two prominent characteristics of Mozart's style. Truly the
Symphony is the quintessence of Mozart in terms of sound and rhythm,
and we need but to listen to his message and receive it with grateful
appreciation. The work contains the four customary movements, all of
them (save the three-part Minuet and Trio) in complete Sonata-form.
The first movement begins at once with a gracefully poised theme sung
by the violins, a theme which may be likened in its outlines to the
purity of a Greek statue. The entrancing effect of this melody cannot
be realized except on the orchestra, for it seems to float on the
gently pulsating chords of the violas like a beautiful flower.
Everyone who hears the work is at once arrested by this highly
original treatment, _e.g._

[Music]

The transition is short but leads us in a happy state of expectancy
through a change of rhythm from the graceful outlines of the first
theme to the vigorous phrase

[Music]

and by a bold run, thrice repeated, to the entrance of the second
theme in measure 43. This theme, in the customary relative major
(B-flat), illustrates Mozart's fondness for the chromatic element
which gives to many of his melodies such a haunting appeal. The
closing portion, beginning at measure 71, is an example of Mozart's
spontaneous skill in polyphonic writing. It is based entirely on the
motive of the main theme in delightful imitations tossed about by
different sections of the orchestra. The second part is a genuine
Development, since the musical life never flags in its contrapuntal
vitality; the theme appears in all parts of the texture--upper, inner
and lower voices--and we are carried vigorously onward by the daring
modulations. Just at the close of the Development we see Mozart's
constructive skill in the fusion of this part with the subsequent
Recapitulation. A series of drifting chromatic chords in the flutes
and oboes, like light fleecy clouds, keeps us in a state of suspended
wonder when quietly there emerges the first theme and the return home
has begun. It is one of the truly poetic touches in musical literature
and has been often imitated--especially by Tchaikowsky in his _Fifth_
and _Sixth Symphonies_.[127] The Recapitulation corresponds exactly
with the Exposition, but an added pathos is given to the second theme
by its appearance in the tonic key of G minor. Observe the impassioned
intensity of the climax in measures 13-19 (counting back from the
end). The mood of dreamy contemplation with which the Slow Movement
begins cannot be translated into words; why attempt it? We have the
music which, coming from the divinely gifted imagination of the
composer, reveals in its own language a message of pathetic longing
and ideal aspiration. The movement is very concise but in complete
Sonata-form, and with an orchestration felicitous in the treatment of
the horns and the wood-wind instruments. The Minuet, noteworthy for
the three-measure rhythm of the opening phrase,

[Music]

shows clearly the new life which Mozart infused into the old form by
his remarkable polyphonic skill. Note at the outset of the second part
the vigorous effect of the theme in the bass and the frequency of
biting dissonances. The charming grace and simplicity of the Trio are
indescribable; here again we find an eloquent use of the wood-wind
group. The Finale, in complete Sonata-form, begins with a perfectly
balanced periodic theme, presented in Two-part form, _i.e._, two
sentences of eight measures, each repeated. If from our present
standpoint we feel that the tone of this movement is a bit light to
follow the serious thoughts of the preceding movements, let us
remember that it was composed when the Finale was meant merely to "top
off" a work; and that, if it radiated a general atmosphere of sunshine
and satisfaction, its purpose was fulfilled. For the Finale, which,
like the glorious splendor of an autumn day, is the crowning objective
towards which the other movements have been striving, we must wait for
Beethoven and his modern successors. In fact we may express the
general trend of a Haydn or a Mozart Symphony by a decrescendo, thus
[decrescendo symbol] _i.e._, the real genius of the composer is shown
in the first three movements; whereas, beginning with Beethoven, we
find an organic climactic effect[128] from the first movement to the
last, thus [crescendo symbol]. But to carry such criticisms too far is
ungracious and unjust. Mozart's themes, both the first and the second
(beginning in measure 55), with their tripping contredance rhythms,
fill our hearts with life and carry us irresistibly onward. And the
Development has some surprises in store, for now the dramatic genius
of Mozart asserts itself. Note the bold leaps and daring modulations
of the opening measures. Nothing trite or formal here! The strong
polyphonic treatment of the first theme, beginning in measure 120 and
sustained with unflagging energy for seventy measures, makes this one
of the most stimulating developments in symphonic literature, not
excepting Beethoven himself. The Recapitulation, in subject matter, is
an exact duplication of the Exposition and allows us to recover
gradually from our excitement and to return to the ordinary world of
men and events. The presentation of the second theme, however, shows
Mozart's mastery of melodic variation. The substance is the same, but
the import of the melody is intensified, _e.g._

[Music: Exposition]

[Music: Recapitulation]

[Footnote 127: See the Waltz movement of the _Fifth Symphony_ and the
second movement of the _Sixth_.]

[Footnote 128: This expanding of interest is distinctly felt in
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, in Brahms's First, in Tchaikowsky's Fifth
and in that by César Franck.]

The Overtures to Mozart's three operas: The _Marriage of Figaro_, _Don
Giovanni_ and the _Magic Flute_ are of particular interest, not only
for the beauty of their contents but because they are our earliest
examples of the Overture fashioned in complete Sonata form. Originally
the Overture had been a prelude to the opening of a play, a prelude of
the lightest and most meagre nature. Examples, beginning with
Monteverde, abound in all the early Italian opera composers.[129]
Lully of the French school and Alessandro Scarlatti of the Italian
were the first to amplify these beginnings and to establish a definite
standard of structure. In both schools this standard represented an
application of the Three-part form principle; the French arranging
their contrasts, slow, fast, slow (the so-called French overture--of
which we have an example in Handel's Messiah) and the Italians, fast,
slow, fast (the so-called Italian Overture). Although Gluck
(1714-1787) did much to establish a more dramatic connection between
the overture and the play, even the best of his Overtures, Iphigenia
in Aulis, is a rather loosely expanded tripartite structure with a
good many meaningless passages. But Mozart, coming after Haydn's
definite establishment of the Sonata-form and with the growing
interest of the public in instrumental music for its own sake as an
incentive, could take advantage of these circumstances to display his
genius and to delight his hearers with a piece of genuine music. This
he did and his operatic overtures are of such distinct import and
self-sufficiency that they are often detached from the opera itself
and played as concert numbers. The Magic Flute Overture is also
noteworthy because of the polyphonic treatment of the first theme
which is a definite fugal presentation in four voices. The second
theme, beginning in measure 64, and soon repeated, is light and
winning, meant to supplement rather than to contrast strongly with the
first theme, which indeed keeps up at the same time, in the inner
voices, its rhythmic impetuosity. The Exposition ends with a graceful
closing phrase, _e.g._,

[Music]

and the usual cadence in the dominant key. It is considered that the
Adagio chords for the trombones, interpolated between the Exposition
and the Development, are suggestive of the religious element in the
play that is to follow. The Development is remarkable for the spirited
imitative treatment of the first theme, for the bold way in which the
voices cut into each other and for the fusion of its closing measures
with the Recapitulation. The chief feature in this brilliant passage
is a piling up of the theme in stretto form (see measures 148-153).
The Recapitulation is somewhat shortened and the melodic outline of
the second theme is slightly changed; otherwise it corresponds with
the Exposition. After the closing phrase we have some pungent
dissonances, _e.g._

[Music]

Rossini, it is said, was never tired of eulogizing this Overture and
certainly for spontaneity and vigor it is unrivalled.[130]

[Footnote 129: For a complete account of this development see Grove's
Dict. Vol. III under _Overture_ and the Oxford History, Vol. IV, page
286, _seq._]

[Footnote 130: Its companion in modern literature is the Overture to
the _Bartered Bride_ (by the Bohemian composer Smetana), which also
begins with a brilliant fugal treatment of the theme.]

The last illustration from Mozart is his _Adagio in B minor_ (see
Supplement No. 43) an independent piece, far too little known, in
complete Sonata-form. The haunting pathos in the theme, the exquisite
loveliness in the whole fabric instantly reach the hearer's heart.
Analytical comment seems quite unnecessary; a child can "follow" the
music, but only he with a ripe knowledge of human life can begin to
fathom its deep mystery.[131] When we see such modern passages as the
following, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 131: For some illuminating comments on this subtle character
of Mozart's creations see the Stanford-Forsyth History of Music, p.
254.]

Tchaikowsky's love for Mozart's music is readily understood. Indeed,
we cannot refrain from urging everyone to cultivate such a love
himself; for in the works of Mozart are found a purity, a sanity and a
delight in creation which keep them alive and make them in very truth
"things of beauty and a joy forever."




CHAPTER XI

BEETHOVEN, THE TONE-POET


As Beethoven was such an intensely subjective composer, a knowledge of
his personality and environment is indispensable for a complete
appreciation of his works.[132]

[Footnote 132: Hence is given a more extended biographical account
than in the case of former composers.]

Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827), born at Bonn on the Rhine, though
his active career is associated with Vienna, may be called the first
thinker in music; for at last the art is brought into correlation with
man's other powers and becomes a living reflex of the tendencies and
activities of the period. Notwithstanding the prodigious vitality of
Bach's work, we feel that his musical sense operated abstractly like a
law of Nature and that he was an unconscious embodiment, as it were,
of the deep religious sentiment of his time and of the sturdy
independence of his race. At any period and in any place Bach would
have been Bach. Beethoven's music, however, in its intense personality
and as a vivid expression of the ideals of his fellow men, was
different from any the world had heard before. There were three
paramount advantages in his equipment: first, Beethoven was a strong
character who only happened to find in music his most suitable means
of self-expression. The full import of his works cannot be understood
unless he is recognized, great creative artist that he was, as first
and foremost a unique personality. Had he not written a note of music
we should have sufficient historical evidence to assure ourselves of
the vigor of his intellect and the elevation of his ideals. Whereas
Haydn and Mozart are to be judged purely as musicians, in Beethoven it
is always something underlying the musical symbols which claims our
allegiance. Furthermore he had the inestimable advantage of finding
the mechanical structure of instrumental music carefully formulated by
his predecessors. The stone had been quarried, the rough cutting done
and the blocks lay ready for a genius to use in the erection of his
own poetically conceived edifice. And these forms were still fresh and
vigorous; they had not yet hardened into formalism. In Beethoven's
works we rarely find form employed for its own sake, as a mere "tour
de force" of skilful workmanship, rather is it made to adapt itself to
the individual needs of the composer. Finally Beethoven's career
coincided with momentous changes and upheavals in the social,
political and artistic world. He is the embodiment of that spirit of
individualism, of human freedom and self-respect which found its
expression in the French Revolution, in our American War of
Independence and in the entire alteration of social standards.
Beethoven at all costs resolved to be himself. With him music ceases
to be a mere "concourse of sweet sounds"; it must always bring some
message to the brooding human soul, and be something more than a
skilful example of abstract ingenuity. These personal tendencies of
Beethoven were fostered by the spirit of the times, and his music
became in turn a vital expression of revolt against existing
conditions and of passionate aspiration towards something better. He
was the first musician to free himself from the enervating influence
of having to write exclusively for aristocratic patronage. Such was
the social emancipation of the period that he could address himself at
first hand to a musical public eagerly receptive and constantly
growing. His representative works could never have been composed in
the time of Haydn and Mozart; for though in formal structure the
logical development of preceding methods--Beethoven being no reckless
iconoclast--in individual content they reveal a freedom of utterance
which took its rise in tendencies hitherto unknown. Beethoven's mighty
personality and far-reaching influence can not be stated in a few
formulae. An extensive library covering his life and times is
accessible to the interested layman, and a thorough appreciation of
his masterpieces is a spiritual possession which everyone must gain
individually. Since Beethoven's works compel a man to think for
himself, the constructive power of the creator must be met with an
analogous activity on the part of the receptive hearer. The
symphonies, for example, are more than cunningly contrived works of
musical art; they are human documents of undying power to quicken and
exalt the soul which will submit itself to their influence.
Beethoven's great instrumental compositions are few in number in
comparison with the voluminous and uneven output of his predecessors.
Thus from Haydn we have 125 symphonies, from Mozart about 40, from
Beethoven 9. Of Haydn's symphonies possibly a half dozen have
permanent vitality; of Mozart's four; of Beethoven's all, with the
possible exception of the experimental first. Condensation of subject
matter, conciseness of style, a ceaseless exaltation of quality above
quantity are the prominent features in Beethoven's work. All adipose
tissue is relentlessly excised, and the finished creation resembles a
human being in perfect physical condition--the outward mechanical
organism subservient to the spirit within.

Beethoven's life is of supreme interest and importance, for his music
is the direct expression of himself, of his joys and sorrows. His
ancestry raises many perplexing questions as to the influence of
heredity and the sources of genius. In the first place Beethoven was
not a pure-blooded German, but partly Flemish on his father's side.
His paternal grandfather, Ludwig van[133] Beethoven, was a man of
strong character and of a certain musical aptitude, who had migrated
from the neighborhood of Antwerp to Bonn where he served as court
musician to the Elector of Cologne. The paternal grandmother early
developed a passion for drink and ended her days confined in a
convent. The son of this couple, Johann (the father of the composer)
was a tenor singer in the court chapel at Bonn and soon became a
confirmed drunkard. He seems to be a mere intermediary between
grandfather and grandson. In 1767 he married a young widow, Maria
Keverich, a woman of warm affections and depth of sentiment, whose
life was bound up in the care of her gifted son. The tender love
between Beethoven and his mother was a bright spot in his early years,
in many ways so sordid and unhappy. Unfortunately she was delicate, of
consumptive tendencies, and died when Ludwig was but seventeen. "She
has been to me a good and loving mother," he writes, "and my best
friend." As we ponder on such facts and then consider for what
Beethoven stands, we can only exclaim, "God works in a mysterious way,
his wonders to perform." It was early seen that the young Beethoven
had unusual ability, and so the shiftless father, with the example of
Mozart's precocity before him, submitted the boy to a deal of enforced
drudgery in the way of harpsichord and violin practice. He had one
good teacher however, Neefe, who records that the boy of thirteen
played the harpsichord with energetic skill and had mastered the
Preludes and Fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavichord. Beethoven's
general education was sadly neglected, and when he was thirteen
practically ceased. These deficiencies were a source of mortification
all his life. He spelled atrociously, was never sure of his addition
and subtraction and so was often involved in altercations with
landlords and washerwomen. By nature Beethoven was of strong, eager
intellect. He became an omnivorous reader, and later in life acquired
a working facility in Latin, French, Italian and English. The first
period of his life ends with his departure in 1792 for Vienna, whither
he was sent by the Elector to study with Haydn. In summing up its
special incidents we are struck first by the vivid and lasting
impression which Beethoven, in spite of his lowly origin and
deficiencies in education and cultivation, made upon wealthy and
refined people of distinction, simply through his extraordinary
personality and unmistakable sincerity. Two of these friends were the
von Breuning family, including the charming daughter Eleanore--one of
Beethoven's early loves--and the cultivated and influential Count
Waldstein, in whose companionship he became acquainted with the German
poets and with the dramas of Shakespeare. For a vivid picture of these
boyish years the student is recommended to the Romance, _Jean
Christophe_ (by Romain Rolland) which, though somewhat idealized, is
mainly on a historical basis. Two of Beethoven's most unique
characteristics date from this period. First, his constant habit of
drawing inspiration directly from Nature, of which he was a passionate
and persistent lover. He says of himself "No one can love the country
as I love it. Here alone can I learn wisdom. Every tree exclaims to me
'Holy, Holy, Holy.'" In long walks through wood and field he would
allow his thoughts to germinate, giving himself up utterly to creative
emotion. When in this state of mind Madame von Breuning used to say
that he was in his "raptus." Consequently, in comparison with the
works of previous composers, which often have a note of primness and
artificial restraint--they smell a bit of the lamp and the
study--those of Beethoven have the elemental power of Nature herself,
especially shown in the vigor and variety of the rhythm. Second, he
would always carry sketch books in which to jot down ideas as they
came to him. These he would polish and improve--sometimes for
years--before they took final shape. Many of these sketch books[134]
have been preserved and edited, and they illustrate, most vividly,
Beethoven's method of composing: slow, cautious, but invincible in its
final effect; an idea frequently being altered as many as twenty
times. At the age of twenty-two he was chiefly known as a pianist with
wonderful facility in improvisation; his compositions had been
insignificant. The next eight years--up to 1800, when Beethoven was
thirty--were spent in acquainting himself with the Viennese
aristocracy and in building up a public clientèle. Then follows the
marvellous period until 1815 in which his power of inspiration was at
its height, and which gave to the world a body of work for magnitude
and variety never surpassed: all the symphonies except the Ninth, the
first twenty-seven pianoforte Sonatas, five concertos for pianoforte
and orchestra, the opera of Fidelio, several Overtures, numerous
string quartets and ensemble chamber music. We realize even more
vividly the heroic and sublime character of Beethoven when we learn
that, as early as 1798, there began the signs of that deafness which
altered his whole life. By nature he was hypersensitive, proud and
high-strung, and these qualities were so aggravated by his malady that
he became suspicious, at times morose, and his subsequent career was
checkered with the violent altercations, and equally spasmodic
renewals of friendship, which took place between him and his best
friends. His courage was extraordinary. Thus we find him writing:
"Though at times I shall be the most miserable of God's creatures, I
will grapple with Fate, it shall never pull me down." On the artistic
side this affliction had its compensations in that it isolated the
composer from outer distractions, and allowed him to lay entire stress
on the spiritual inner side of his art; certainly this is one of the
strongest notes in his music--the pure fancy manifested therein. As a
deaf musician he is comparable to the blind seer who penetrates more
deeply into the mysteries of life than those whose physical eyesight
is perfect. Beethoven's closing years form a period of manifold
complications, caused by the care of his scapegrace nephew, by his
settled deafness and precarious financial position. Yet he grimly
continued to compose, his last works being of titanic dimensions such
as the Choral symphony, the Mass in D and the last Quartets and
Pianoforte Sonatas. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827; nature most
appropriately giving a dramatic setting to the event by a terrific
storm of hail and snow, lightning and thunder. It would take too long
to dwell on the many characteristics of the man Beethoven. Power,
individuality and sincerity were stamped upon him, and his music is
just what we should expect from his nature. He embodied all the
longings, the joys and sorrows of humanity, and gave them such burning
utterance that the world has listened ever since.

[Footnote 133: The prefix van is not a symbol of nobility.]

[Footnote 134: See the two _Beethoveniana_ by Nottebohm.]

To touch now upon a few of the formal aspects of Beethoven's work, as
far as verbal analysis can help, it may be asserted that he is the
acknowledged master of the Sonata Form as Bach was of the Fugue, and
in his hands this form, and also the Air with Variations, were raised
to a potency the influence of which is felt even to-day. From
beginning to end every portion of the Sonata Form was made over and
vitalized. Instead of the perfunctory "flourish of trumpets" which
served previous composers for an introduction, this portion with
Beethoven deftly leads on the hearer to a contemplation of the main
work, and is as carefully planned as the porch of a great Cathedral.
For examples, witness the continually growing excitement generated in
the introductions to the Second and Seventh Symphonies, the breathless
suspense of the introduction to the Fourth, and the primeval,
mysterious beginning of the Ninth. And then what a difference in the
character and emotional suggestiveness of the themes, that with
Beethoven are actual human voices, dramatic characters, which once met
can never be forgotten. As Lavoix says of the Fifth Symphony, "Is not
this a drama in its purity, where passion is no longer the attribute
of a theatrical work, but the expression of our own individual
feelings?" No longer are the transitions mere mechanical connections,
but a portion of the structure which, though subsidiary, is yet
organically developed from that which precedes and inevitably related
to that which follows. In the development section we find the real
Beethoven. Here his marvellous freshness of invention found full play.
Such inexhaustible fancy, such coherence of structure, such subtlety
of transformation were unknown in former times, when development was
often as lifeless as the perfunctory motions of an automaton.
Beethoven's developments are no mere juggling with tones; they are
vast tonal edifices, examples of what the imagination of man
controlled by intellect can achieve. Possibly Beethoven's greatest
skill as a musical architect was shown in his treatment of the Coda,
which became the crowning climax of a movement, a last driving home
with all possible eloquence of the message heretofore presented. The
end of previous compositions had too often been a mere ceasing to go,
a running down, but in Beethoven there is usually a strong objective
point towards which everything converges.

Fully conscious as he was of the throbbing human message it was his
mission to reveal, we may be sure that Beethoven spared no effort to
enhance the expressive capabilities of music as a language. Certain
aspects of his style in this respect are strikingly noticeable in
every one of his representative works. First, the marvellous rhythmic
vitality. Note the absence of the former sing-song rhythm of Haydn; in
its stead we hear the heart-beat, now fast, now slow, of a living
human being. No longer can the hearer in dreamy apathy beat time with
his foot. Second, his use of the fiercest dissonances to express the
heights and depths of our stormy human existence. In listening to
contemporary works nothing should persuade us more strongly to a
sympathetic tolerance, or at any rate to a suspension of judgment,
than the fact that many of Beethoven's most individual cries (surely
in his case the outward expression of what he heard within, those very
outbursts which to-day ring longest in our consciousness) were
considered at the time of their creation as the ravings of a mad-man.
Dissonances, both acoustically and psychologically, are a vital
principle in music. In no respect was his music more original than in
his Promethean boldness in their use. One of his favorite conceptions
was that music should strike fire from the soul of man; it was not
meant to lull the hearer into a drowsy revery, but to awaken his
spiritual consciousness with a shock at times positively galvanic. A
third feature is his subtlety in expression, as is shown by the minute
indications in which every page of his work abounds. The crescendos,
often leading to a sudden drop to pianissimo, the long stretches of
hushed suspense, the violent sforzandos on unimportant beats, the
plasticity of periodic formation, all these workings of a rich
imagination first gave music its place as the supreme art of human
expression.

A word must be spoken concerning two forms which we owe to Beethoven's
constructive genius. In place of the former naïve Minuet, so
characteristic of the formal manners of its time, he substituted a
movement with a characteristic name--the Scherzo, which opened up
entirely new possibilities. No mere literary distinction between wit
and humor[135] can explain the power of Beethoven's Scherzos; only
through his own experience of life can the hearer fathom their
secrets. The expression of real humor, akin to that spirit which is
found in Cervantes, Swift, Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, was a
genuine contribution of Beethoven. Deep thinkers alone are capable of
humor which, to quote a recent writer, is "that faculty of imagination
so humane and sympathetic in its nature that it can perceive at the
same time serious and jocose things. It can feel the pathos of a scene
on life's stage and yet have an eye for the incongruities of the
actors. It is imagination, the feel of kinship with the universal
human soul." Beethoven's Scherzos are as varied as life itself. Who
can forget the boisterous vitality of this movement in the Eroica,
which quite sweeps us off our feet, the haunting mystery of the
Scherzo of the Fifth Symphony, or listen unmoved to the grim
seriousness, alternating with touching pathos, in the Scherzo of the
Ninth? Secondly, his conception of the Air and Variations was so
different from anything previously known that he may fairly be called
its creator. With him variations became poetic transformations, and
the notable works in this form of Brahms, Tchaikowsky, Franck and
d'Indy are only freer manifestations of Beethoven's method. Upon two
last features, his use of titles and his individualizing of the
orchestral instruments, we cannot dwell in detail. Although program
music in its literal sense dates back several centuries,
Beethoven--far more than was customary before--used external
suggestions or incidents, often intimate subjective experiences, as
the quickening impulse to his imagination. We know from his own words
that, while composing, he generally had some mental picture before
him. Very often we are not given the clue to his thoughts, but the
titles, familiar to every one, which he did use, such as the _Heroic_
and _Pastoral_ Symphonies, the _Coriolanus_ and _Egmont_ Overtures,
those to several of the Sonatas, are full of import and show clearly
that he was engaged in no mere abstract music making for its own sake.
These works are the point of departure for the significant development
of modern music along this path. With Beethoven the orchestra began to
assume its present importance, and the instruments are no longer
treated as mere producers of sound and rhythm, but often as living
beings. How eloquent is the message of the Horns in the Trio to the
Scherzo of the _Heroic_! Berlioz compares the double basses in the
Fifth Symphony to the gambols of sportive elephants, and instances
might be multiplied. But words are futile in describing the wonders of
Beethoven. A striking tribute is that of Professor John K. Paine. "In
instrumental music Beethoven is pre-eminent, from all points of view,
formally, aesthetically and spiritually. Like Shakespeare's, his
creations are distinguished by great diversity of character; each is a
type by itself. Beethoven is the least of a mannerist of all
composers. His compositions are genuine poems, which tell their
meaning to the true listener clearly and unmistakably in the language
of tones, a language however which cannot be translated into mere
words."

[Footnote 135: The derivation of the word is worthy of note; it means
moisture, juice, something not dry. Humor is certainly the juice of
human nature.]

We are now in a position to approach intelligently, enthusiastically
and reverently the mighty works of Beethoven which, though built upon
the foundations of Haydn and Mozart, yet take us into an entirely new
world of power and fancy. For illustrations we select the first
movement of the _Third_ or _Heroic_ Symphony; the _Seventh Sonata in D
major_ for Pianoforte; the _Fifth Symphony in C minor_ (entire) and
the _Coriolanus_ Overture. In regard to the symphonies it is
understood that the emphasis on certain ones and the omission of
others implies no ultra-critical attitude. Each of Beethoven's
symphonies has its characteristic attributes and each is the work of a
genius. But just as in Nature some mountains are more majestic than
others, so concerning the nine symphonies we may say that their order
of excellence as endorsed by the consensus of mankind would be as
follows. The First Symphony is somewhat experimental, composed when
Beethoven was working out his technique of expression. It is closely
modeled on the style of Haydn and, though showing certain daring
touches and though perfectly direct and sincere, is not of marked
individuality. In the Second Symphony a long advance is made, for we
find numerous traits which are thoroughly distinctive of the genius of
Beethoven: the exciting Prelude to the first movement; the heavenly
Larghetto, one of the first slow movements of real emotional power;
the rollicking Scherzo (note the fantastic touches in the Trio) and
the splendor of the last pages of the Finale, which can only be
compared to a sunset with its slowly fading colors and its last burst
of glory. The general style of the Second Symphony however is that of
Haydn and Mozart, though raised to the highest pitch of eloquence. In
the Third Symphony the complete Beethoven steps forth. It was his
declaration of independence, and in this work, as he himself said, he
began a completely new line of activity; it was also his own favorite
among the symphonies.[136] Heretofore there had been no such
impassioned utterance as is revealed in the first movement of this
Third Symphony and there have been few, if any, to equal it since. The
Fourth Symphony is an entrancing work and shows Beethoven's
inexhaustible variety of mood; since, save for the "grand manner"
peculiar to all his works, it differs strikingly from the Third and
the Fifth. It was composed during the happiest period of Beethoven's
life and is related in its whole character to his emotions and
aspirations at that time.[137] The slow movement is the most sublime
love-song in music. The Fifth Symphony is undoubtedly the most popular
of them all, in the true sense of the term.[138] The reason for this
verdict is the unparalleled combination in a single work of the
emotional intensity found in the first movement, the touching appeal
of the slow movement, the mystery, followed by the reckless display of
spirit, in the Scherzo and the paean of rejoicing which rings through
the Finale. The Sixth or Pastoral, Beethoven's one excursion into the
realm of tone-painting based on natural phenomena, is of interest more
as a point of departure for the work of his successors than for its
intrinsic message. The conception of the possibilities of musical
description has so widened since Beethoven, and the facilities for
orchestral color so increased, that this symphony, though it has many
characteristic beauties, sounds a bit old-fashioned. The Seventh is
one of the most original of them all, incomparable for its rhythmic
vitality--the Apotheosis of the Dance, as Wagner called it.[139] If
rhythm be the basis of music and of life itself, this symphony is
thoroughly alive from start to finish, hence immortal. The Eighth is
the embodiment of Beethoven's (possibly) most individual trait--his
abounding humor. Never before had symphonic music played such pranks
as are found here, especially in the Finale. The Symphony is in fact a
prolonged Scherzo[140]--the third movement (a Minuetto) being merely
for contrast. The Ninth Symphony, composed in the philosophic period
of Beethoven's life, when he was attempting still greater heights, is
a vast work, the first three movements purely instrumental, and the
Finale, for the first time in symphonic literature, a union of solo
voices and chorus with the instrumental forces. The text was taken
from Schiller's "Ode to Joy." The spirit of the poem made a strong
appeal to Beethoven's humanitarian and democratic aspirations and
there is no question of the grandeur of his conception. But it is not
carping criticism to say that his thoughts were too heaven-soaring for
a perfect realization through any earthly means. Beethoven moreover
was seldom happy in writing for the human voice--he thought in terms
of the instruments--and it is not to be denied that there are several
passages in the Finale which consist of mere boisterous shouting. No
one save believers in plenary inspiration can give to this Finale the
whole-hearted admiration that is paid to the three instrumental
movements which are pure gold; especially the seraphic Adagio and the
Gargantuan Scherzo with its demoniacal rhythmic energy. To sum up the
foregoing estimates, if the student is forced to select and cannot
become equally familiar with all of the nine symphonies, a reasonable
order of study would be the following: the Fifth, the Third, the
Seventh, the Eighth, the Fourth, the Ninth, the Second, the Sixth and
the First. See Supplement No. 44.

[Footnote 136: See Beethoven, Kerst-Krehbiel, p. 45.]

[Footnote 137: Read the appropriate essay in _Beethoven and His Nine
Symphonies_ by Sir George Grove.]

[Footnote 138: Vox populi, vox Dei.]

[Footnote 139: D'Indy, however, in his _Beethoven_ (p. 61, English
translation) dissents from this view; not at all convincingly, it
would seem to us. For the basic rhythm of each movement is on a
definite dance metre and the theme of the first movement is a regular
Irish jig (Beethoven at one time being very much interested in Irish
folk-dances) with its typical three final notes, _e.g._

[Music]]

[Footnote 140: It was written, to use Beethoven's own words, in an
"aufgeknöpft" (unbuttoned) condition, _i.e._, free, untramelled,
rather than straight-laced, swaddled in conventions.]

We shall now make a few comments[141] on the first movement of the
_Third_ or _Heroic Symphony_, merely to stimulate the hearer's
interest, for the music may be trusted to make its own direct appeal.
After two short, sonorous chords, which summon us to attention, the
first theme, allegro con brio, with its elemental, swinging rhythm, is
announced by the 'cellos. It is often glibly asserted that these notes
of the tonic triad are the whole of the first theme. This is a great
misconception, for although the motive in the first four measures is
the generative basis for the entire movement, the arresting, dramatic
note of the theme is the C-sharp in measure five. This theme in fact
is a typical example of Beethoven's broad sweeps of thought; for
prolonged with secondary melodic phrases in the first violins and
flutes, its real close does not come until the 13th measure, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 141: These are based in this work and in all Symphonic
compositions on the full orchestral score (in the Peters edition); the
student is therefore recommended to adopt this practise. For in
Beethoven and all orchestral writers the thought and expression are so
integrally bound up with the tone color and idiom of the various
instruments that when their works are reduced to another medium much
of the eloquence is lost. For those who cannot handle an orchestral
score there are adequate arrangements for 2 hands, 4 hands and for 2
pianofortes in several standard editions. Those who have an advanced
pianoforte technique should certainly become familiar with the
virtuoso-transcriptions of the Beethoven Symphonies by Franz Liszt.]

After a varied repetition of the first motive of the theme, there
occurs a passage (measures 23-33)[142] which illustrates one of the
most characteristic features in all Beethoven's work, _i.e._, those
sharp dislocations of the rhythm, indicated by the sforzando accents
(_sf_) on beats usually _unaccented_ and often coupled with strong
dissonances. Although the basic rhythm is triple, the beats for
several measures are in groups of two quarter notes or their
equivalent, one half note, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 142: It is an excellent practise to number the measures of a
score in groups of _10_.]

No longer can we drift along in dreamy apathy; our vitality is
quickened as by the gusts of a tornado. There have been those who for
the first time in their lives were jarred from the even tenor of their
way by these impassioned onslaughts. When Beethoven's Symphonies were
first played in Paris, it is reported that the operatic composer
Boieldieu was much disconcerted, because, as he said, he liked
"musique qui me berce." The transition (measures 43-81) is a
remarkable example of Beethoven's power of creating ever more and more
excitement and expectancy. It contains _three_ subsidiary melodic
phrases, each of increasing rhythmic animation, _e.g._,

[Music]

and fairly whirls us into the beautiful contemplative theme at measure
81. This theme embodies some entrancing modulations into remote keys,
and then, after one of Beethoven's typical passages of hushed
pianissimo (beginning in measure 97) we are led through a series of
sforzandos, crescendos and titanic ejaculations to the overpowering
dissonances in measure 145, which with the tonic chord close the
Exposition in the dominant key. The Development (measures 164-396) is
extremely long and varied, but a perfect manifestation of spontaneous,
organic treatment--each portion growing inevitably from what has
preceded and marching irresistibly onward to its objective goal. Every
modulatory, rhythmic and polyphonic device is employed to vary and
intensify the message; yet, notwithstanding the diversity of the
material, we are held spellbound by the directness and coherence of
the thought. Such is Beethoven's passionate insistence on the right to
speak out just what he felt that in one stupendous passage (measures
246-277) it seems as if the very Heavens were falling about our heads.
At measure 282 a theme of ideal repose is interpolated--just the
contrast needed after the preceding cataclysm. The Development proper
is renewed in measure 298 and after a repetition of the interpolated
theme in measures 320-335 the rhythm of the first theme asserts itself
in all its majesty, carrying us upward to a veritable table-land of
sublimity. From this we are brought down through a series of
decrescendo, modulatory chords, like drifting mists, to an almost
complete cessation of musical life--nothing but a pianissimo tremolo
on the strings. From this hush there floats in upon us the rhythmic
motive of the first theme; then, with a _ff_ chord of the dominant, we
are suddenly brought back into the sunshine of the main theme, and the
Recapitulation has begun. This portion with certain happy changes in
modulation--note the beautiful variant on the horn in measures
406-414, _e.g._,

[Music]

--preserves the customary emphasis on the main tonality of E-flat
major, ending in measures 549-550 with the same dissonances which
closed the Exposition. Then are declaimed by the full orchestra those
two dramatic outbursts which usher in the Coda and which may be
likened to "Stop! Listen! the best is yet to come." The blunt,
intentional disjunction of the harmony adds weight to the assertion,
_e.g._

[Music]

Here we have a convincing illustration of Beethoven's individual
conception that the Coda should be a second and final development;
special points of interest and treatment being held in store, so that
it becomes a truly crowning piece of eloquence. Observe how the
reappearance of the interpolated theme balances the Coda with the
Development proper and how the various rhythms of the Exposition are
concentrated in the last page. Finally a series of bold, vibrato leaps
in the first violins--based on the dominant chord--brings this
impassioned movement to a close.

A lack of space prevents the inclusion in the Supplement of the rest
of the Symphony, but the student is urged to make himself familiar
with the three remaining movements: the Marcia Funèbre, the Scherzo
and the Finale. The Funeral March is justly ranked with that of Chopin
in his B-flat minor Sonata and that of Wagner in the last act of the
_Götterdämmerung_ as one of the most eloquent in existence, and
contains melodies so touching that they could have come only from the
very soul of Beethoven. Especially noteworthy is the aspiring melody
of the middle, contrasting portion (Maggiore) where the spirit, freed
from earthly dross, seems to mount to the skies in a chariot of fire.
The third part, where the minor mode is resumed, abounds in dramatic
touches; especially that fugal passage, where the ecclesiastical tone,
combined with pealing trumpets, brings before us some funeral pageant
in a vast, medieval cathedral. The Coda, beginning in A-flat major,
with an impressive mood of resignation, illustrates at its close a
psychological use of programmistic effect; for the first theme,
treated as a real person, disintegrates before our very
eyes--becoming, as it were, a disembodied spirit. Nothing can show
more clearly than this passage the widening of the expressive powers
of music which we owe to the genius of Beethoven. The same effect with
a slightly different dramatic purpose is found at the end of the
_Coriolanus_ Overture.

The Scherzo, allegro vivace, in triple time, but marked _one_ beat a
measure = 116 (almost two measures per second!), is unsurpassed for
sustained brilliancy and daring rhythmic changes. It is so
idiomatically conceived for orchestra that only the barest idea can be
gained from a pianoforte transcription. The prevailing background is a
mass of shimmering strings, marked by Beethoven "_sempre pp e
staccato_" and against this stands out a buoyant, folk-song type of
melody on the oboe. After some mysterious and fantastic modulations a
_ff_ climax is reached which leads to the famous syncopated passage
where the orchestra seems to hurl itself headlong into space, _e.g._

[Music]

The Trio, with its three hunting horns, gives a fresh, woodland note
typifying Beethoven's love of nature. Some mysterious modulations lead
us back from the dim recesses of the forest to the sparkling animation
of the Scherzo. In this part of the movement Beethoven plays one of
his characteristic practical jokes; for, just where we expect the same
syncopated effect as before, the time is changed from 3/4 to 2/2, the
duration of the measure remaining the same, _e.g._

[Music]

This effect may be likened to the uproarious guffaws of a giant. The
Coda has a clear reminiscence of the dramatic C-sharp in the main
theme of the first movement, _e.g._

[Music][143]

[Footnote 143: D-flat being the enharmonic equivalent of C-sharp.
[Transcriber's Note: The music notation contains a D-flat.]]

Such an organic connection between movements begins to be very
frequent in Beethoven's works.

The Finale, Allegro molto, has caused considerable difficulty to the
commentators for reasons known only to themselves. Different forms are
assigned to it by different critics; one regrets the falling off of
inspiration, another asserts that the movement "does not fulfill the
requirements which the human mind makes of art; it leaves us
confused." Poor Beethoven! But why all this pother? If the inner
evidence of the music itself be any justification for structural
classification, this wonderful, inspired Finale is a series of free
Variations[144] on a double theme of which the parts are related to
each other as Soprano and Bass, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 144: The variations are not numbered and the demarcations
indicated only by certain cadential objective points.]

By beginning the first two variations with the less important of the
two melodies (_i.e._, the _bass_) Beethoven is simply indulging in his
fondness for piquing the fancy of the hearer by starting him on a
false trail--not giving away, as it were, his real purpose too soon.
Yet from the first announcement of the leading melody in the Third
Variation it assumes increasing importance, through successive
appearances in E-flat major, B minor, D major and C major, until after
a long fugal development we reach the inspired passage (Poco Andante
con espressione), _e.g._,

[Music]

in which the main theme is stated first in its noble simplicity and
then enhanced by an obligato melody on the oboe. It is one of the most
eloquent passages in all symphonic literature. At its last appearance
the real theme comes fully to its own--for the _first_ time in the
_bass_, that fundamental voice--where it is declaimed _ff_ in gorgeous
splendor by all the lower instruments of the orchestra. It is evident
that not even the most inspired genius can sustain such a flight for
ever, and after this magnificent paean the workings of Beethoven's
imagination resemble those of Nature herself. Following a tranquil
intermediary passage in A-flat major we enter upon one of those long,
mysterious periods of hushed suspense which may be compared to a long
expanse of open country or to the fading lights on the sea at sunset.
The last page, beginning with the Presto, is sheer orchestral
jubilation of the most intoxicating kind. We may picture an
enthusiastic gathering, with hats thrown aloft and shouts of triumph
ringing from every throat. It is of historical interest to know that
the theme of this Finale must have been a favorite with Beethoven, for
he had used it in three former works: a _Contre-dance_, as the basis
for a set of _Pianoforte Variations_ and in the _Ballet Music to
Prometheus_. It may not be too fanciful to trace a dramatic
relationship between its use in portraying the daring spirit who first
stole fire from Heaven and as the crowning message of a work meant to
glorify all heroic endeavor. A thorough familiarity with this movement
will repay the student not only as exemplifying Beethoven's freedom of
expression but indeed as a point of departure for so many modern works
in free variation form. See Supplement No. 45.

To illustrate Beethoven's Pianoforte compositions we shall now analyze
the _Seventh Sonata in D major_, op. 10, No. 3. Only wholesale
hero-worshipers consider all of the thirty-two Sonatas of equal
significance. It is true that, taken as a whole, they are a storehouse
of creative vitality and that in each there is something, somewhere,
which strikes a spark; for everything which Beethoven wrote was
stamped with his dominating personality. But the fire of genius burns
more steadily in some of the Sonatas than in others. It is the very
essence of genius to have its transcendent moments; only mediocrity
preserves a dead level. It is therefore no spirit of fault finding
which leads us to centre our attention upon those Sonatas which have
best stood the test of time and which never fail to convince us of
their "raison d'être": the _Appassionata_, the _Waldstein_, the
_C-sharp minor_, the _Pathétique_, the _Sonata in G major_, op. 14,
No. 2, and _all_ the last five, especially the glorious one in _A-flat
major_, op. 119. It is futile to deny that some of the early sonatas
are experimental and that certain others do not represent Beethoven at
his best, being more the result of his constructive power than of an
impelling message which had to be expressed. The D major Sonata has
been selected for study because, though composed in Beethoven's first
period, it is thoroughly characteristic, and because its performance
is within the powers of the average intelligent amateur. The full
beauty of the later Sonatas can be realized only by great virtuosi who
devote to them years of study. The work is in four movements: the
first, complete Sonata-form; the second, modified Sonata-form; the
third, Three-part; the Finale, a freely treated Rondo-Sonata-form. The
first movement, Presto, begins with a vigorous presentation of the
main theme which ends in measure 22 with the last of three _ff_
octaves. The unusually long transition, containing a subsidiary theme
in B minor, is remarkable for its onrushing excitement and for the
playful false leads which usher in the second theme. After a brilliant
cadence in the dominant key, one would suppose this theme might be
announced in measure 53, but not so; after three measures of cantabile
melody, progress is interrupted by a group of descending octave leaps.
A second attempt is now made, this time in A minor, only to be
thwarted by a still more capricious octave descent. This time,
however, after a dramatic pause, we are rewarded with a clear-cut,
periodic melody beginning in measure 66, against which the rhythm of
the first theme keeps up a gentle undercurrent. Some interesting
modulations develop into a series of descending octaves which,
accompanied by _sf_ chords, lead to the closing portion. This
brilliant passage accentuates the dominant key of the second theme.
After a short tranquillo phrase and some free imitations of the main
theme we repeat the Exposition, or go on to the Development ushered in
by a bold change to the mediant key of B-flat major. After several
appearances of the main theme in the bass, Beethoven takes a leaf out
of D. Scarlatti's book and revels in some crossing of the hands and
some wide leaps. The Recapitulation corresponds exactly with the first
part until we reach the Coda in measure 298, which affords a striking
example of Beethoven's power of climax. After a long period of
suspense an imitative treatment of the first theme, with kettle-drum
effect in the bass, leads to a stringendo ascending passage which
closes with two crashing dissonances and two peculiarly grouped
chords, _e.g._

[Music]

They have a hard, cutting brilliance all their own and give just the
touch of color needed to finish this dazzling movement.[145]

[Footnote 145: By Beethoven everything is carefully planned. Note in
performance the contrast of mood suggested by these final chords and
the sombre register of the opening chords of the Slow Movement.]

In the Slow Movement, Largo e Mesto, there is a depth of emotion quite
unparalleled in the early history of music.[146] Certainly no composer
since Bach had uttered such a message. As soon as the movement begins
we are convinced that it represents the outpouring of a soul capable
of deep meditations upon life and its mysteries, and with the
eloquence at its command to impress these thoughts upon the hearer.
The number of themes and their key relationship are those of
Sonata-form, but instead of the usual development we have a new
contrasting theme of great pathos in the major mode. Observe the
poignancy of the dissonances, _e.g._,

[Music]

in the second theme of the Exposition which begins in measure 17, and
the passionate outcries in measures 35 and 37 of the middle portion.
Just before the Recapitulation, in measures 41-43, is an early example
of Beethoven's fondness for instrumental recitative--music speaking
with a more intimate appeal than words. The movement ends with an
impassioned Coda which, beginning with the main theme in the bass and
working up, more and more agitato, to a powerful climax, dies away
with mysterious fragments of the opening measures. The dissonant
element so characteristic of the whole movement is retained to the
end, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 146: According to d'Indy it is more truly pathetic than the
entire so-called _Pathetic Sonata_.]

The growing importance of dissonance may be seen from a comparison of
this movement with the average slow movements of Haydn and Mozart
These, although they have serenity and grace, beauty and finish of
form, and are sincere manifestations of the genius of their creators,
are yet lacking in passion. This placid mood and amiability of style
is shown by the comparatively slight employment of dissonances. By
unthinking and uncultivated persons dissonances[147] are often
considered as something harsh, repellant--hence to be avoided. But
dissonances contain the real life and progress of music. They arouse,
even take by storm our imaginations and shake us out of our
equanimity. Consonant chords represent stability, satisfaction and,
when over-used, inertia. The genius of the composer is shown in
establishing just the _right proportion_ between these two elements;
but if there is to be any disproportion let us have _too much_ rather
than too little dissonance, for then, at any rate, the music is
_alive_. Since Beethoven the whole development of music as a human
language shows the preponderating stress laid on dissonance; to this
fact a knowledge of the works of Schumann, Chopin, Wagner, Debussy and
Franck will amply testify.[148] The same analogy holds equally in all
realms of life, human and physical. The truest development of
character depends on the warring elements of good and evil. Honest
discontent is the first step to progress. Dissonance is the yeast of
music and should be welcomed for its invigorating influence.

[Footnote 147: A frequent confusion of thought is shown in the use of
the words "discord" and "dissonance." A discord is an unrelated noise,
as when one bangs with both fists on the key-board. A dissonance is a
logical introduction of intervals or chords made up of jarring factors
for their stimulating effect upon the imagination.]

[Footnote 148: Two of the greatest innovators in this direction,
Scryabin and Stravinsky, have been working in our own day, and there
is no doubt that by their daring experiments they have enlarged the
expressive powers of music. While it is obvious that the dramatic
effect of to-day stimulates the experimentation of tomorrow,
contrariwise, the immediate contribution of each innovator is to
render more clear the work of his predecessor, up to that moment the
confessed iconoclast.]

The third movement, Minuetto, may be taken as a reply to Haydn's
well-known wish "Oh! that some one would write us a new Minuet." Well,
here it is--with all the grace and charm of the 18th century type and
yet with more import, especially in the Coda with its haunting
retrospect. The rhythmic formation of the opening sentence would be
clearer if two measures had been thrown into _one_, for the swing is
clearly that of a 6/4 measure. The Trio, with its Scarlatti-like
crossing of the hands, is a playful bit of badinage, affording a
delightful contrast to the Minuetto. Such genuine variety in mood
makes the Three-part Form of lasting worth.

The Finale, Allegro, with its capricious fortissimo outbursts and
unexpected sforzandos is a characteristic example of Beethoven's
freedom of utterance. Any cast-iron conception of form was entirely
foreign to his nature; instead, he made form the servant of the freest
flights of fancy. The movement begins as if it were to be worked out
in the so-called Rondo Sonata-form--a hybrid, tripartite structure
related to the Sonata-form in that it has _two_ themes in the first
and last portions, and to the Rondo in that the middle portion is a
free Episode instead of the customary development of former material.
The salient feature by which this form may always be recognized is
that the Exposition closes with a _definite return_ to the first
theme--thus emphasizing the Rondo aspect--instead of with an expanded
cadence based upon the second theme. As we have stated before (see
Chapter IX), many of Beethoven's Finales are in this mixed form, clear
examples of which may be found in the last movements of the Fourth,
Eighth and Twelfth Sonatas. The Finale of the Twelfth Sonata has been
included in the Supplement in order to make this important form
familiar to the student. To return now to the Finale of the sonata we
are studying. Its first two portions correspond exactly to the usual
practice in the Rondo-Sonata form just explained; _i.e._, we find in
the Exposition a first theme, a modulatory transition, a second theme
(beginning in measure 17) and a definite repetition of the first
theme, in measures 25-32. Then, after two measures of bold modulation,
begins the middle, episodical passage which, closing with a whimsical
cadenza-like passage, leads back to the beginning of the third part.
After a complete, slightly varied appearance of the first theme,
Beethoven does not repeat the second theme, as we should expect, but
allows his fancy to indulge in a series of brilliant passages,
exciting modulations and dynamic contrasts. All this freedom is held
together by insistence on the fundamental rhythmic motive (measures
72-83). A final embellished statement of the first theme ushers in the
fiery Coda, in measure 92, which ends with a long running passage;
beneath, we hear reminiscences of the main theme. It is often stated
that Beethoven's Sonatas are lacking in pianistic effect, and it is
true that his pianoforte works do not bring out the possibilities of
color and sonority as we find them, for example, in Chopin and
Debussy--the orchestra and the string-quartet being indeed his
favorite media of expression. Yet during his entire early career
Beethoven was famous as a performer and improviser on the pianoforte
and some, at any rate, of his deepest thoughts have been confided to
that instrument. That he was not at all insensible to the beauty of
pianistic effect for its own sake is shown by the syncopated, shadowy
chords in measures 101-105, the whole justification for which lies in
their enchanting sound.[149]

[Footnote 149: For a very clear tabular view of the structure of this
Sonata see d'Indy's _Cours de Composition Musicale_, Book II, p. 332.]


SYMPHONY NO. 5[150]

[Footnote 150: This is not given in the Supplement. See preceding
remarks apropos of the Third Symphony. The comments are based, as
usual, on the full orchestral score.]

The _Fifth Symphony in C minor_, op. 67, is deservedly popular because
it is so human; a translation, in fact, of life itself into the
glowing language of music. Beethoven's emotional power was so deep and
true that, in expressing himself, he spoke, like every great
philosopher, poet or artist, for all mankind. Which one of us in his
own experience, has not felt the same protests against relentless Fate
that find such uncontrollable utterance in the first movement? Who,
again, is untouched by that angelic message, set before us in the
second movement, of hope and aspiration, of heroic and even
_warlike_[151] resolution, mingled with the resignation which only
great souls know? The third movement (Allegro)--in reality a Scherzo
of the most fantastic type, though not so marked--might well typify
the riddle of the Universe. We indeed "see through a glass darkly,"
and yet there is no note of despair. Amid the sinister mutterings of
the basses there ring out, on the horns and trumpets, clarion calls to
action. While we are in this world we must live its life; a living
death is unendurable. The Finale, Allegro maestoso, is a majestic
declaration of unconquerable faith and optimism--the intense
expression of Beethoven's own words, "I will grapple with Fate, it
shall never pull me down"--to be compared only with Browning's "God's
in his heaven, all's right with the world," and the peroration to
Whitman's _Mystic Trumpeter_, "Joy, joy, over all joy!" No adequate
attempt could be made to translate the music into words. The Symphony
is extremely subjective; indeed, autobiographic. For all historical
details as to its composition, the reader is referred to the Grove
essay,[152] and for eulogistic rhapsodies nothing can surpass the
essay of Berlioz, that prince of critics. We shall content ourselves
with a few comments of a structural nature and then trust the student
to seek a performance of the work by a good orchestra. Of the first
movement (Allegro con brio)[153] the dominant characteristics,
especially in comparison with the wealth of material in the _Heroic_,
are conciseness and intensity. It starts at once, without prelude,
with the motive--one of the tersest in music--from which is developed,
polyphonically, the first theme, _e.g._

[Music[A]]

[Footnote 151: This interpretation of d'Indy is based upon the
prevalence in the movement of the conventional martial rhythm [Music]
and carries, we must acknowledge, considerable weight. It is, however,
distinctly subjective and prevents no one from gaining quite a
different impression. We should be more inclined to accept the views
of the noted French scholar had he not been so wide of the mark, while
speaking of the Seventh Symphony, as to deny any appearance of
dance-rhythm in the first movement But the Irish composer, Villiers
Stanford, has shown conclusively that the theme is based upon the
rhythm of an Irish Hornpipe. Thus do the wise ones disagree!
Meanwhile, we others have the _music itself_.]

[Footnote 152: _Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies_ by Sir George
Grove.]

[Footnote 153: Beethoven's favorite mark of tempo and expression.]

[Footnote A: There are also some _p_ holding notes on the bassoons.]

Everything is concentrated in the highest degree and the assault upon
our consciousness is of corresponding power. A tempestuous transition
leads to two short _sf_ chords and then in measure 59, announced _ff_
by the horns, appears the first phrase of the second theme, based on
the same motive as the first, but in the relative major (E-flat),
_e.g._

[Music]

It is answered by a second phrase of marked simplicity and
loveliness--a mood, indeed, of resignation. This is only momentary,
however, for the relentless rhythm of the chief motive continues to
assert itself in the basses until, as it gathers headway after a short
closing phrase (95-99), it is thundered out _ff_ by the full orchestra
in a series of descending groups. The Development continues the same
resistless impetuosity. Note the grim effect of the empty fifths and
fourths in measures 126-127. Once only is there a slackening of the
titanic, elemental drive--in the mysterious passage (212-239) where
the pent-up fury of the composer seems to have exhausted itself. It is
only, however, a lull in the storm which breaks forth with renewed
energy in the Recapitulation and Coda. Observe the pathetic commentary
which the solo oboe makes upon the main theme at the outset of the
third part (268)--a flower growing out of the débris of the avalanche.
The Coda begins, at measure 374, with a passionate insistence upon the
fundamental rhythm, driven home with sharp hammer-blows and, as in all
Beethoven's symphonic movements, furnishes an overpowering climax, not
a mere perfunctory close. The second Movement, in A-flat major, is a
series of free[154] Variations (five in number) based on a theme,
Andante con moto,[155] of great rhythmic vitality, peculiarly rich and
suave--announced, as it is, by 'celli and violas in unison, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 154: Free, in that they are not numbered and are not
separated by rigid cadences; in that episodical passages--often of a
rhapsodic nature--are interpolated.]

[Footnote 155: The tempo is often taken by conductors too slowly, thus
losing much of its buoyancy.]

The first two presentations of the theme are in each case followed by
a passage of martial character which bursts triumphantly into C major.
There is an orchestral touch of great beauty and originality in the
first and second variations (beginning in measures 49 and 98
respectively), where a solo clarinet--later a flute, oboe and
bassoon--prolongs a single tone which seems to float above the melody
like a guiding star.[156] A passage of special significance is that in
measures 123-146, where Beethoven indulges in a touching soliloquy
upon his main theme. It is mysteriously introduced by the repetition,
eight times, _pp_, of the dominant chord (the simplest medium of
suspense) which seems to say "Hush, I have something most intimate
reveal." The Coda (Più Moto) begins with a mood of wistful reverie,
but the clouds are soon dispelled and the movement ends in radiant
sunshine.

[Footnote 156: While listening to this passage one is instinctively
reminded of Keats's "Bright and steadfast star, hung aloft the
night."]

The salient structural feature in the last two movements[157] is that
they are merged together; there is no pause after the Scherzo; and
the movements are further interlocked by an interpolation, in the
middle of the Finale, of a portion of the preceding Scherzo--a kind of
inter-quotation or cross reference. This composite movement is a
striking example of the organic relationship which Beethoven succeeded
in establishing--between the different movements of the symphony.
Prior to him, it is fair to say--to use a homely simile--that a sonata
or a symphony resembled a train of different cars merely linked
together, one after the other; whereas the modern work, as
foreshadowed by Beethoven, is a vestibuled train: one indivisible
whole from beginning to end.[158] But before the Fifth Symphony there
had been no such systematic unification; for it is not too much to say
that the whole work is based upon the persistent iteration of a single
note in varied rhythmic groups. Thus in the first movement we find
continually the rhythm [Music]; in the second, in several places
[Music]; in the Scherzo [Music]; and in the Finale [Music].
Furthermore a C, repeated by the kettle-drums for fifty measures, is
the chief factor in the connecting link between the Scherzo and the
Finale. We shall observe this tendency to interconnection still
further developed by Schumann in his Fourth Symphony, by Liszt in the
Symphonic Poem[159] (to be treated later), and a climax of attainment
reached in such highly unified works as César Franck's D minor
Symphony and Tchaikowsky's Fifth. To return to the Scherzo, well
worthy of note is the Trio, in free fugal form (its theme announced by
the ponderous double basses), because it is such a convincing
illustration of the humorous possibilities inherent in fugal style.
The way in which the voices chase each other about--compared by
Berlioz[160] with the gambols of a delighted elephant--and their
spasmodic attempts at assertion, produce an effect irresistibly droll.
The humour is as broad as that of Aristophanes or Rabelais. Words are
powerless to describe the thrill of the last fifty measures which
launch us into the Finale. We may merely observe that this long
passage, _pp_ throughout until the last molto crescendo, and with the
rhythmic element reduced to a minimum, makes more of an impact upon
our imagination than that of the loudest orchestral forces ever
conceived. We are reminded of the effect of the "still, small voice"
after the thunders on Sinai. The Finale, with its majestic opening
theme in fanfare, contains a wealth of material and is conceived
throughout in the utmost spirit of optimistic joy and freedom.[161]
The Exposition has a subsidiary theme of its own, beginning at measure
26, which reappears with rhythmic modification (diminution), and most
eloquently announced by the bassoons, in the first section of the
final Coda. After the brilliant second theme (45-63) there is an
impressive closing theme (with some biting _fp_ dissonances) which
forms the basis of the Presto portion of the Coda. The Development is
a marvellous treatment of the second theme, in imitation, modulation
and climactic growth; the rhythm [Music], so vitally connected with
the whole work, persisting with stupendous energy. In the final
measures it would seem as if Beethoven were storming the very heavens.
Here occurs the quotation from the preceding Scherzo which binds the
movements together and serves as a point of departure for a still
greater climax. It seems unreasonable to expect a higher flight, but
the genius of Beethoven is equal to the effort. If, before, we have
reached the heavens, now we pierce them. The brilliant Coda--note the
ascending runs for the piccolo--is in three sections, the first based
on the subsidiary theme, _e.g._,

[Music]

the second on the closing theme in quickened tempo, _e.g._,

[Music[B]]

and the third, a canonic treatment of the opening fanfare, _e.g._,

[Music]

in which the orchestra seems to tumble head over heels in a paroxysm
of delight. The movement closes with prolonged shouts of victory and
exultation.[162]

[Footnote 157: Taken separately, the movements are perfectly normal;
the Scherzo in the usual Three-part form and the Finale in complete
Sonata-form.]

[Footnote 158: There are traces of this striving for organic unity in
several of the early Sonatas, notably in the _Sonata Pathétique_,
where the motive of the first theme of the Finale is identical with
that of the second theme of the opening movement _e.g._

[Music: 1st Movement]

[Music: Finale]

Also in the C-sharp minor Sonata, op. 27, we find a case of melodic
relationship between a phase in the introductory meditation and the
main theme of the Minuet.]

[Footnote 159: A Symphonic Poem is a descriptive composition for
orchestra which incorporates many of the customary symphonic moods;
but the form is free, largely dependent on the poetic basis, and the
structure is without stops, being one continuous whole.]

[Footnote 160: His exact words are--"Le milieu (the trio) ressemble
assez aux ébats d'un éléphant en gaieté--mais le monstre s'éloigne et
le bruit de sa folle course se perd graduellement."]

[Footnote 161: Its motto might well be Browning's famous lines: "How
good is man's life, how fit to employ all the heart and the soul and
the senses forever in joy."]

[Footnote B: This pianoforte figure being a very inadequate substitute
for the restless tremolo of the violas, _i.e._, [Music].]

[Footnote 162: For suggestive comments by the noted critic E.T.A.
Hoffmann, one of the first to realize the genius of Beethoven, and for
a complete translation of his essay on the Fifth Symphony see the
article by A.W. Locke in the Musical Quarterly for January, 1917.]


THE CORIOLANUS OVERTURE

This dramatic work is of great importance, not only for its emotional
power and eloquence, but because it represents a type of Program
music, _i.e._, music with a suggestive title, which Beethoven was the
first to conceive and to establish. From the inherent connection
between the materials of music (sound and rhythm) and certain natural
phenomena (the sound and rhythm of wind, wave and storm, the call of
birds, etc.) it is evident that the possibility for Program--or
descriptive--music has always existed.[163] That is, the imagination
of musicians has continually been influenced by external sights,
sounds and events; and to their translation into music suggestive
titles have been given, as a guide to the hearer. Thus we find
Jannequin, a French composer of the 16th century, writing two
pieces--for _voices_!--entitled "_Les cris de Paris_" and "_La
Bataille--défaite des Suisses à la journée de Marignan_;" in the
former of which are introduced the varied cries of street venders and
in the latter, imitations of fifes, drums, cannon and all the bustle
and noises of war. In the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book there is a
Fantasie by John Mundy of the English school, in which such natural
phenomena as thunder, lightning and fair weather are delineated. There
is a curious similarity between the musical portrayal of lightning in
this piece[164] of Mundy and that of Wagner in the _Valkyrie_. In the
_Bible Sonatas_ of the German composer Kuhnau (1660-1722) we have a
musical description of the combat between David and Goliath. Anyone at
all familiar with the music of Couperin and Rameau will recall the
variety of fantastic titles assigned to their charming pieces for the
claveçin--almost always drawn from the field of nature: birds, bees,
butterflies, hens, windmills, even an eel! It is but fair to state
that we also find attempts at character drawing, even in those early
days, as is indicated by such titles as _La Prude_, _La Diligente_,
_La Séduisante_.[165] Haydn's portrayal of Chaos, in the Prelude to
the _Creation_, is a remarkable mood-picture and shows a trend in
quite a different direction. All these instances corroborate the
statement that, in general, composers were influenced by external
phenomena and that their program music was of an imitative and often
frankly literal kind. From what we know of Beethoven's nature and
genius, however, we should imagine that he would be far more
interested in the emotions and struggles of the soul and we find that
such indeed is the case. With the exception of the _Pastoral Symphony_
with its bird-calls and thunderstorm and the _Egmont_ Overture with
its graphic description of a returning victorious army, his program
music invariably aims at the description of character and the manner
in which it is influenced by events--_not_, be it understood, at a
musical portrayal of the events themselves. This difference in type is
generally indicated by the terms _subjective_ and _objective_, _i.e._,
program music is subjective, when it deals with the emotions and moods
of real or historical persons; objective, when it is based upon
incidents or objects of the actual world. It is evident that in
subjective program music an adjustment must be made, for the dramatic
needs of the subject are to be considered as well as the inherent laws
of music itself. We may state that the widening of the conception of
form, so marked in modern music, has been caused by the need of such
an adjustment; for as composers became more cultivated, more in touch
with life and of more richly endowed imagination, the arbitrary
conventions of strict form had perforce to yield to the demands of
dramatic treatment. This implies not that program music is without a
definite structure, only that the _form_ is _different_--modified by
the needs of the subject. As there is no other point in aesthetics
which has caused more loose thinking, a few further comments may be
pertinent. Some critics go so far as to deny the right of existence to
all program music.[166] Of course there is good as well as bad program
music, but to condemn it _per se_ is simply to fly in the face of
facts, for a large proportion of the music since Beethoven is on a
poetic basis and has descriptive titles. Others claim that they cannot
understand it. But that is their loss, not the fault of the music; the
composer writes it and it is for us to acquire the state of mind to
appreciate it. Another misleading allegation, often heard, is that a
piece of program music should be so clear and self-sufficient that the
hearer needs to know nothing of the title to derive the fullest
enjoyment. But this simply begs the question. As well say that in
listening to a song we need to know nothing of the meaning of the
text. It is true that in listening to Beethoven's _Coriolanus_, for
example, any sensitive hearer will be impressed by the vitality of the
rhythm and the sheer beauty of orchestral sound. But to hold that such
a hearer gets as much from the work as he who knows the underlying
drama and can follow sympathetically the correspondence between the
characters and their musical treatment is to indulge in reckless
assertion. The true relationship between composer and hearer is this:
when works are entitled _Coriolanus_, _Melpomene_, _Francesca da
Rimini_, _Sakuntala_, _L'après-midi d'un Faune_, _The Mystic
Trumpeter_, _L'apprenti Sorcier_, and the composers reveal therein the
influence such subjects have had upon their imagination, they are
paying a tacit compliment to the hearer whose breadth of intelligence
and cultivation they expect to be on a par with their own. If such be
not the case, the fault is not the composer's; the burden of proof is
on the listener.[167] Let us now trace certain relationships between
the drama of _Coriolanus_ and the musical characterization of
Beethoven. The Overture was composed as an introduction to a tragedy
by the German playwright von Collin, but as the play is obsolete and
as both von Collin and Shakespeare went to Plutarch for their sources,
a familiarity--which should be taken for granted[168]--with the
English drama will furnish sufficient background for an appreciation
of the music. The scene before the city gates is evidently that in
which Volumnia and Virgilia plead with the victorious warrior to
refrain from his fell purpose of destruction. The work is in
Sonata-form, since the great Sonata principle of _duality_ of _theme_
exactly harmonizes with the two main influences of the drama--the
masculine and the feminine. It is of particular interest to observe
how the usual methods of Sonata-form procedure are modified to suit
the dramatic logic of the subject. The work begins Allegro con brio,
with three sustained Cs--as if someone were stamping with heavy
foot--followed by a series of assertive _ff_ chords for full orchestra
(note the piercing dissonance in the 7th measure), which at once
establishes an atmosphere of headstrong defiance. The first theme,
beginning in measure 15 with its restless rhythm, is not meant to be
beautiful in the ordinary sense of the term--"a concourse of sweet
sounds"; rather is it a dramatic characterization, a picture in terms
of music, of the reckless energy and the fierce threats which we
naturally associate with Coriolanus. The theme is repeated and then
the transition develops this masculine mood in an impassioned
manner--observe the frequency of _sf_ accents and the crashing
dissonances[169]--until a sustained note on the violins, followed by a
descending cantabile phrase, brings us to the second theme, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 163: A complete account of this development may be found in
the first two chapters of Niecks's _Programme Music_.]

[Footnote 164: For an excellent description of this piece, as well as
others of the period, see the volume by Krehbiel _The Pianoforte and
Its Music_.]

[Footnote 165: A comprehensive and invaluable description of the works
and style of Couperin and Rameau may be found in the _History of the
Pianoforte and its Players_ by Oscar Bie. For an early example of what
is now called "poetic atmosphere" everyone should know Couperin's
piece _Les Barricades Mystérieuses_ which is more suggestive when
played on the claveçin with its delicate tone.]

[Footnote 166: A favorite term of opprobrium is that the program is a
"crutch."]

[Footnote 167: There are several essays which will help the student
toward clear thinking on this important subject: the valuable essay
_Program Music_ in Newman's _Musical Studies_, the article on the
subject in Grove's Dictionary, and the exhaustive volume by Niecks;
some of his views, however, are extreme and must be accepted with
caution. Above all should be read Wagner's interpretation of
Coriolanus in his essay on the Overture (English translation by W.A.
Ellis).]

[Footnote 168: Twenty-five years' experience as a college teacher,
however, has proved that _too much_ may be taken for granted!]

[Footnote 169: It is unfortunate that the diminished seventh chord
does not sound so fierce to our modern ears as it undoubtedly did in
Beethoven's time, but that is simply because we have become accustomed
to more strident effects.]

This theme, in distinction from the first, typifies the appeal for
mercy made by the women in the drama. No contrast could be stronger
than that between these two themes--the first, impulsive, staccato, of
sweeping range, and in the minor; the second, suave, legato,
restrained and in the major. They show indeed how powerfully
Beethoven's imagination was impressed by the subject. After an
eloquent expansion of the second theme there follow several stormy
measures (the deprecations of the women are at first of no avail) that
lead through a crescendo to a closing theme, at measure 83, in which
the mood of defiant assertion is strongly marked. The exposition
closes in this mood, in measure 100, and the following Development
accentuates it through several successions of restless, crescendo
passages until a _ff_ descent sweeps us back to the Recapitulation, in
measure 151. It is now evident that the furious intentions of the
warrior have raged themselves out, for not only is the theme which
represents him much shortened but it loses somewhat of its former
fiery intensity. From here on, the trend of the music is largely
modified by the dramatic demands of the subject. That the appeals of
the women are beginning to prevail is evident from the emphasis laid
on the second theme, which gives its message no less than _three_
times, instead of the single appearance which we should expect in the
usual Recapitulation. The third appeal, in measures 247-253, is
rendered most pathetic by being expressed in the minor mode. In the
Coda there are fitful flare-ups of the relentless purpose, but that
the stubborn will has been softened is evident from the slowing down
of the rhythm, in measures 285-294. Finally, in the wonderful closing
passage, we have a picture of broken resolves and ruined hopes. The
theme disintegrates and fades away--a lifeless vision. Although much
of the structure in this overture is identical with that which
prevails in absolute music--for, after all, the composer must be true
to the laws of his medium of expression--there is enough _purely
dramatic_ treatment to justify the foregoing analysis. Beethoven, at
any rate, called the overture Coriolanus, and we may be sure he meant
it to _represent_ Coriolanus and to be something more than a skillful
combination of sounds and rhythms.

We now add a few last words on the quality of Beethoven's themes in
his moments of supreme inspiration. The unshaken hold which his music
has upon the affections of mankind is due chiefly to two striking
characteristics: first, the way in which he dramatized everything--themes,
instruments, even _single_ notes, _i.e._, treating them as actual
factors in life itself rather than as artistic abstractions; second,
the spirituality and sublimity in his immortal message. The first
quality is exemplified in a number of passages, notably in the first
movement of the Violin Concerto and in the Finale of the Eighth
Symphony. In the opening measures of the Concerto the use of the
single note D-sharp, and the entry _pp_ of the F natural in the
following passage--in each case, entirely disconnected from the normal
rules of musical grammar--are most dramatic, _e.g._

[Music]

At the mysterious entrance of the F natural in this passage it would
seem as if some mighty spirit were suddenly looking over our shoulder.
In the Finale of the Eighth Symphony what can be more startling than
the sudden explosive entrance of the unrelated C-sharp--before the
orchestra continues its mad career--which can be compared only to the
uproarious laughter of Rabelais himself, _e.g._

[Music]

There are numerous examples in Beethoven showing his dramatic use of
such orchestral instruments as the bassoons, horns, kettle-drums and
double basses. Possibly the most striking[170] is the Slow Movement of
the G major Pianoforte Concerto--that inspired dialogue, as it has
been eloquently called, "between Destiny and the human soul," in which
the touching appeals of the solo instrument are constantly interrupted
by the sinister mutterings and forebodings of the strings. Observe
especially the closing measures where the basses, alone are heard
_pp_, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 170: See, however, the octave leaps of the kettle-drums in
the Scherzo of the Ninth Symphony.]

A spiritual quality escapes verbal definition; but just as we can feel
it in certain characters, and just as we recognize the sublime in
nature and in such works of art as a cathedral or a Shakespearian
Drama, so we may find it in the following specific examples from his
works: the Trio of the second movement of the Seventh Symphony; the
Slow Movement theme of the B-flat major Trio and the Slow Movement of
the Sonata op. 109. (See Supplement Nos. 47, 48, 49.) Anyone who
allows these themes to sink into his consciousness is carried into a
realm of ideality where he begins to recognize the truth that "the
things which are unseen are eternal." Music of this transporting power
is far above that which merely excites, amuses or even fascinates; and
of such music Beethoven is the poet for all time.

We have referred above to the voluminous literature extant concerning
Beethoven. Several scholars, in fact--notably Alexander Thayer and Sir
George Grove--have devoted a large part of their lives to finding out
all there is to be known about his life and works. Obviously the
layman cannot be expected to become familiar with this entire mass of
historical and critical writing. The following books, however, may be
considered indispensable aids to those who would become cultivated
appreciators of Beethoven's masterpieces: the _Life of Beethoven_ by
Alexander Thayer--a great glory to American scholarship; the life in
Grove's Dictionary; the illuminating Biography by d'Indy (in French
and in English); _Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies_ by Grove; the
_Oxford History of Music_, Vol. V; and the essay by Mason in his
_Beethoven and his Forerunners_.[171] We cite, in closing, a
eulogy[172] by Dannreuther--in our opinion the most eloquent ever
written on Beethoven's genius:

"While listening," says Mr. Dannreuther, "to such works as the
Overture to Leonora, the Sinfonia Eroica, or the Ninth Symphony, we
feel that we are in the presence of something far wider and higher
than the mere development of musical themes. The execution in detail
of each movement and each succeeding work is modified more and more by
the prevailing sentiment. A religious passion and elevation are
present in the utterances. The mental and moral horizon of the music
grows upon us with each renewed hearing. The different movements--like
the different particles of each movement--have as close a connection
with one another as the acts of a tragedy, and a characteristic
significance to be understood only in relation to the whole; each work
is in the full sense of the word a revelation. Beethoven speaks a
language no one has spoken before, and treats of things no one has
dreamt of before: yet it seems as though he were speaking of matters
long familiar, in one's mother tongue; as though he touched upon
emotions one had lived through in some former existence.... The warmth
and depth of his ethical sentiment is now felt all the world over, and
it will ere long be universally recognised that he has leavened and
widened the sphere of men's emotions in a manner akin to that in which
the conceptions of great philosophers and poets have widened the
sphere of men's intellectual activity."

[Footnote 171: Suggestive comments from a literary point of view may
also be found in these works: _Studies in the Seven Arts_, Symonds;
_Beethoven_ by Romain Rolland--with an interesting though
ultra-subjective introduction by Carpenter; _The Development of
Symphonic Music_ by T.W. Surette; _Beethoven_ by Walker; _Beethoven_
by Chantavoine in the series _Les Maîtres de la Musique_. As to the
three successive "styles" under which Beethoven's works are generally
classified there is an excellent account in Pratt's _History of
Music_, p. 419.]

[Footnote 172: This passage is to be found in the Life in Grove's
Dictionary.]




CHAPTER XII

THE ROMANTIC COMPOSERS. SCHUBERT AND WEBER


During the latter part of Beethoven's life--he died in 1827--new
currents were setting in, which were to influence profoundly the trend
of modern music. Two important, though in some respects unconscious,
representatives of these tendencies were actually working
contemporaneously with Beethoven, von Weber (1786-1826) and Schubert
(1797-1828). Beethoven himself is felt to be a dual personality in
that he summed up and ratified all that was best in his predecessors,
and pointed the way for most of the tendencies operative since his
time. For the designation of these two contrasting, though not
exclusive, ideals, the currently accepted terms are Classic and
Romantic. So many shades of meaning have unfortunately been associated
with the word Romantic that confusion of thought has arisen. It is
also true that the so-called Romanticists, including poets and
painters as well as musicians, in their endeavors to break loose from
the formality of the Classic period, have indulged in many irritating
idiosyncracies. We are beginning to see clearly that a too violent
expression of individuality destroys a most vital factor in
music--universality of appeal. Yet the Romantic School cannot be
ignored. To its representatives we owe many of our finest works, and
they were the prime movers in those strivings toward freedom and
ideality which have made the modern world what it is. The term
Romantic is perfectly clear in its application to literature, from
which music borrowed it. It refers to the movement begun about the
year 1796 among such German poets as Tieck, the two Schlegels and
Novalis, to restore the poetic legends of the middle ages, written in
the Romance dialects, and to embody in their own works the fantastic
spirit of this medieval poetry.[173] In reference to music, however,
the terms Classic and Romantic are often vague and misleading, and
have had extreme interpretations put upon them.[174] Thus, to many,
"romantic" implies ultra-sentimental, mawkish or grotesque, while
everything "classic" is dry, uninspired and academic. How often we
hear the expression, "I am not up to classic music; let me hear
something modern and romantic." Many scholars show little respect for
the terms and some would abolish them altogether. Everything, however,
hinges upon a reasonable definition. Pater's well-known saying that
"Romanticism is the addition of strangeness to beauty" is fair; and
yet, since strangeness in art can result only from imaginative
conception, it amounts to nothing more than the truism that romantic
art is imbued with personality. Hence Stendhal is right in saying that
"All good art was Romantic in its day"; _i.e._, it exhibited as much
warmth and individuality as the spirit of its times would allow.
Surely Bach, Haydn and Mozart were real characters, notwithstanding
the restraint which the artificialities of the period often put upon
their utterance. On the other hand, work at first pronounced to be
romantic establishes, by a universal recognition of its merit, the
claim to be considered classic, or set apart; what is romantic to-day
thus growing to be classic[175] tomorrow. It is evident, therefore,
that the terms interlock and are not mutually exclusive. It is a
mistaken attitude to set one school off against the other, or to prove
that one style is greater than the other; they are simply different.
Compositions of lasting worth always manifest such a happy union of
qualities that, in a broad sense, they may be called both romantic and
classic, _i.e._, they combine personal emotion and imagination with
breadth of meaning and solidity of structure.

[Footnote 173: For a more complete historical account see the article
"Romantic" in Grove's Dictionary and the introduction to Vol. VI of
_The Oxford History of Music_. _Rousseau and Romanticism_ by Professor
Irving Babbitt presents the latest investigations in this important
field.]

[Footnote 174: Some very sane comments may be found in Pratt's
_History of Music_, pp. 427, 501, 502.]

[Footnote 175: "A _classic_ is properly a book"--and the same would be
true of a musical composition--"which maintains itself by that happy
coalescence of matter and style, that innate and requisite sympathy
between the thought that gives life and the form that consents to
every mood of grace and dignity, and which is something neither
ancient nor modern, always new and incapable of growing old."

Lowell, _Among My Books_.]

Beginning, however, with Schubert and Weber--the two first
representatives of the romantic group--there is a marked novelty of
content and style; and if we drop the terms and confine ourselves to
the inner evidence of the music itself, we note a difference which may
be felt and to a certain extent formulated. To take extreme types for
the sake of vivid contrast, let us compare the compositions of Haydn
and Mozart with those of Berlioz and Liszt. In the former there is
repose, restraint and a perfect finish in the structural presentation;
a feeling of serenity comes over us as we listen. In the latter, a
peculiar intensity of expression, an attempt to fascinate the listener
by the most intimate kinds of appeal, especially to the senses and
fancy, regardless of any liberties taken with former modes of
treatment. The purely classical composer is always master of his
subject, whereas the romanticist is often carried away by it.
Classical works are objectively beautiful, commending themselves to
everyone like works of nature, or, let us say, like decorative
patterns in pure design. Romantic works are subjective, charged with
individuality and demand a sensitive and sympathetic appreciation on
the part of the hearer. It is evident that many of these tendencies
are found clearly outlined in the works of Beethoven. In fact, as has
been said, he was not only the climax of the classical school, but the
founder of the new era--opening a door, as it were, into the
possibilities of a more intense, specialized form of emotional
utterance and a freer conception of form. These special
characteristics were so fully developed by Beethoven's successors,
Schubert, Weber, Schumann, Chopin, etc. that they are always grouped
together as the Romantic School. A striking feature in this whole
Romantic group is the early flowering of their genius and the
shortness of their lives--Weber, forty years, Schubert, thirty-one,
Schumann, forty-six, Mendelssohn, thirty-eight, Chopin, forty. In the
case of all the composers we have hitherto studied, with the exception
of Mozart, their masterpieces have been the result of long years of
patient, technical study and hence show that finish and maturity of
style which come only with time. But the precocity of the Romanticists
is astounding! Many of Schubert's famous pieces were composed in his
earliest manhood; Mendelssohn's _Midsummer Night's Dream_ Overture
dates from his sixteenth year; Schumann's best pianoforte works were
composed before he was thirty. The irresistible spontaneity and vigor
of all these works largely atone for any blemishes in treatment. We
feel somewhat the same in the case of Keats and Shelley in comparison
with Milton, and are reminded of Wordsworth's lines, "Bliss was it in
that hour to be alive, but to be young was very Heaven."[176] Why
expect senatorial wisdom and the fancy of youth in any one person!

[Footnote 176: Compare also the definition of genius by Masters in the
_Spoon River Anthology_:

    "In youth my wings were strong and tireless,
    But I did not know the mountains.
    In age I knew the mountains
    But my weary wings could not follow my vision--
    Genius is wisdom and youth."]

A most important distinction between a classical and a romantic
composer is the knowledge and love of literature shown by the latter.
Although Haydn kept a note-book on his London tours, and although we
have a fair number of letters from Mozart, in neither of these men do
we find any appreciation of general currents of thought and life. In
many of Beethoven's works we have seen how close was the connection
between literature and musical expression. All the Romantic composers,
with the exception of Schubert, were broadly cultivated, and several
could express themselves artistically in words as well as in notes.
They may not have been on this account any better composers, as far as
sheer creative vitality is concerned, but it is evident that their
imaginations were nourished in quite a different way and hence a novel
product was to be expected. Romantic music has been defined as a
reflex of poetry expressed in musical terms, at times fairly trembling
on the verge of speech. Music can not, to be sure, describe matters of
fact, but the Romantic composers have brought it to a high degree of
poetical suggestiveness. Thus the horn-calls of Weber and Schubert
remind us of "the horns of Elfland faintly blowing" and much romantic
music arouses our imaginations and enchants our senses in the same way
as the lines of Keats where he tells of "Magic casements opening on
the foam of perilous seas in fairy lands forlorn," the chief glory of
which is not any precise intellectual idea they convey, but the
fascinating picture which carries us from the land of hard and fast
events into the realm of fancy. Schumann claimed that his object in
writing music was so to influence the imagination of the listeners
that they could go on dreaming for themselves. A second characteristic
is the freedom of form. Considering that a free rein to their fancy
was incompatible with strict adherence to traditional rules, the
Romantic spirits refused to be bound by forms felt to be inadequate.
Although this attitude sometimes resulted in diffuseness and
obscurity, on the whole (as Goethe says of romantic literature) "a
wider and more varied subject matter and a freer form has been
attained." The chief aim of romantic art being to arouse the
imagination, we find a predilection for the use of solo wood-wind
instruments, which are capable of such warmth and variety of
tone-color. Whereas in the classical masters, and even generally in
Beethoven, the melodies are likely to be the upper voice of a harmonic
mass, or assigned to groups of instruments, Weber and Schubert in
particular showed the eloquence to be gained by the use of such
warm-blooded _solo_ instruments as the horn, the oboe and the
clarinet. Schubert fairly conjures with the horn, often holding us
spellbound with its haunting appeal, _e.g._, in the well-known second
movement of the C major Symphony, the calls of which, as Schumann
said, "seem to come from another world." Schubert was anything but a
thinker, and reflected unconsciously the tendencies which were in the
air; but his wonderful gift of lyric melody was thoroughly in keeping
with the individual expression for which Romanticism stood. He said
himself that his compositions were the direct result of his inmost
sorrows. He was steeped in romantic poetry and the glowing fancy in
his best work leads us to condone the occasional prolixity referred to
by Schumann as "heavenly length." Schubert was well named by Liszt the
most poetic of musicians, _i.e._, a creator of pure beauty which
enthralls the imagination of the hearer. Why expect the work of any
one composer to manifest all possible merits? If we crave dynamic
power of emotion or sublimity of thought we may have recourse to Bach
and Beethoven; but the spontaneous charm of Schubert never grows old;
and it is not without interest to note that his music fulfils the
definition of one of the most poetic composers of our time, Debussy,
who claims that music is chiefly meant "to give pleasure."

We note these same tendencies in Weber as shown in the overtures to
his three Romantic operas, _Der Freischütz_, _Euryanthe_ and _Oberon_,
which are the foundations of the modern art of dramatic orchestration,
_i.e._, the intensification of certain ideas and situations by the
special tone color and register of solo-instruments or by a novel use
of customary means, _e.g._, the divided violins in the mysterious
passage of the _Euryanthe_ overture. Another favorite means of
arresting the attention was by modulation; not used in a constructive
sense, simply to pass from one point to another, or to connect themes
in different keys, but to furnish the ear with a purely sensuous
delight, corresponding to that which the eye derives from the
kaleidoscopic colors of a sunset. The works of Schubert, Chopin and to
a lesser degree of Schumann abound in these shifting harmonies by
which we seem to be wafted along on a magic carpet. A final
characteristic, shared by all the Romantic composers, is the
prevalence of titles--the logical result of the close connection
between music, literature and the world of outward events,--thus
Mendelssohn's Overture to the _Midsummer Night's Dream_ with its
romantic opening chords, his _Hebrides_ Overture, the musical record
of a trip to Scotland, and Schumann's _Manfred_, from Byron. Liszt
even went so far as to draw inspiration from a painting, as in his
_Battle of the Huns_, and again from a beautiful vase in _Orpheus_.

We shall now make a few specific comments on the style of Schubert and
Weber and then analyze some of their representative works. Schubert
was a born composer of songs, and though his works for Pianoforte,
String quartet and Orchestra were of marked significance and have
proved of lasting value, the instinct for highly individualized, lyric
melody predominates, and all his instrumental compositions may fairly
be called "Songs without words."[177] It is evident that the
solo-song, unencumbered by structural considerations, is one of the
best media for expressing the Romantic spirit, and many of its fairest
fruits are found in this field. Schubert's songs are often tone-dramas
in which the expressive powers of music are most eloquently
employed.[178] Note the poetic touches of character-drawing and of
description in the _Young Nun_ (see Supplement No. 50). Schubert's
pianoforte compositions are miniature tone-poems, mood-pictures--their
titles: _Impromptus_ and _Moments Musicaux_, speak for themselves--making
no pretense to the scope and elaborate structure of movements in
Sonata-form,[179] yet of great import not only for their intrinsic
beauty but as the prototypes of the numerous lyric and descriptive
pieces of Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Debussy and others. Their charm
lies in the heart-felt melodies and surprising modulations. While
neither sublime nor deeply introspective, they make the simple, direct
appeal of a lovely flower. In the development of music they are as
important as the modern short story in the field of literature; which,
in distinction to the old "three-decker" novel, often really _says
more_ and says it so concisely that our interest never flags. This
tendency to the short, independent piece had been begun by Beethoven
in his _Bagatelles_ (French "trifles"); but these, as has been aptly
said, were "mere chips from the work-shop" whereas in a short piece of
Schubert we find the quintessence of his genius. He was a prolific
composer in the field of chamber music, and the Trios for Violin,
'Cello and Pianoforte, the A minor Quartet, the C major Quintet and,
above all, the posthumous Quartet in D minor, which contains the
entrancing Variations on the song _Death and the Maiden_, are still as
fresh as when they were composed. In these works we do not look for
architectonic power--we must admit, in fact, at the risk of seeming
ungracious, that Schubert is diffuse at times--but our senses are so
enthralled by the imaginative freedom and by the splendor of color,
that all purely intellectual judgment is suspended. The magician works
his wonders; it is for us to enjoy. We have from Schubert seven
complete Symphonies and the so-called _Unfinished in B minor_, _i.e._,
the first two movements and the fragment of a Scherzo. Of these the
_Fourth_ (_Tragic_), composed in 1816, foreshadows the real Schubert
and is occasionally heard to-day. But the immortal ones are the B
minor and the C major, the latter composed in 1828 (the last year of
his life) and never heard by its author.[180] Of this work Schumann
said that "a tenth Muse had been added to the nine of Beethoven." This
symphony is specially characterized by the incorporation of Hungarian
types of melody, particularly in the first and in the last movement.
It is indeed a storehouse of beauty, but the "high moments" are in the
last two movements--the fairly intoxicating Trio of the Scherzo, which
seems as if Nature herself were singing to us, and the gorgeous Finale
with its throbbing rhythms. The first movement is laid out on a vast
scale and holds the attention throughout, but the second movement,
notwithstanding its wondrous theme, suffers from a lack of
concentration; the sweetness is so long-drawn out that we become
sated.

[Footnote 177: Schubert was of incredible versatility and fecundity;
he literally tried his hand at everything: operas, church-music,
ensemble combinations. Since, however, he exercised little power of
selection or revision much of this music has become obsolete. The joke
is well-known that he could set a theatre notice to music, and his
rule for composing was "When I have finished one song I begin
another."]

[Footnote 178: For an original, though at times rhapsodic, study of
Schubert's vocal style see H.T. Finck's _Songs and Song Writers_, and
the last chapter of the Fifth Volume of the Oxford History.]

[Footnote 179: Schubert did compose a number of Pianoforte Sonatas in
the conventional form, but with the exception of the one in A minor
they seem diffuse and do not represent him at his best; they certainly
have not held their own in modern appeal.]

[Footnote 180: For the account of its exciting discovery in Vienna by
Schumann in 1838, after a neglect of ten years, see the life of
Schubert in Grove's Dictionary.]

As examples[181] for analytical comment we select the Menuetto in B
minor from the Fantasia for Pianoforte, op. 78; the fourth Impromptu
in A-flat major from the set, op. 90, and the B minor Symphony for
orchestra. The Menuetto, though one of Schubert's simpler pieces--the
first part in an idealized Mozartian vein--yet exemplifies in the Trio
one of the composer's most characteristic traits, the predilection for
those bewitching alternations,[182] like sunlight and shadow, between
the major and the minor mode.

[Footnote 181: For lack of space no one of these compositions is cited
in the Supplement, but they are all readily available.]

[Footnote 182: This tendency is prevalent in folk-music, especially
that of the Russians and Scandinavians. Schubert, however, was the
_first_ to make such systematic and artistic use of the effect. For a
beautiful modern example see the Spanish folk-dance by Granados,
_e.g._,

[Music]]

The Impromptu in A-flat major, one of several equally fine ones, is
notable for the wealth of its iridescent modulations and for the note
of genuine pathos and passion in the middle portion in the minor mode.
Schubert might well say that his most inspired music came from his
sorrows.

The _Unfinished Symphony_ requires less comment and elucidation than
perhaps any other symphonic composition. The two movements are in
definite Sonata-form--the first, strict, the second, with
modifications; but the quality of the themes is quite different from
that to which we have been accustomed in classical treatment. Instead
of the terse, characteristic motive which, often at first
uncompromisingly bare, impresses us as its latent possibilities are
revealed, we have a series of lyric, periodic melodies which make
their instant appeal. In Schubert everything sings; thus in the first
part of the Exposition of the Allegro we have _three_ distinct
melodies: the introductory phrase, the accompaniment figure which has
a melodic line of its own, and the first theme proper. In any
consideration of this work from a pianoforte version we must always
remember how much the beauty and eloquence of the themes depend upon
the solo instruments to which they are assigned. For Schubert was one
of the first, as well as one of the greatest, of "Colorists." By the
use of this pictorial term in music we mean that the tone-quality of
certain instruments--the mellow, far-echoing effect of the horn, the
tang of the oboe, the passionate warmth of the clarinet[183]--appeals
to our sense of hearing in the same way in which beautiful colors--the
green grass, the blue sky, the hues of a sunset--delight our sight. A
striking example of Schubert's genius in utilizing tone-color to suit
structural needs is found in the transition beginning at measure 38.
This is a single tone on the horn (with a modulatory ending) announced
_forte_ and then allowed to die away, _i.e._, _sf_ [decrescendo
symbol]. So powerful is the horn in evoking a spirit of suspense and
revery that this tone introduces the beautiful, swaying second theme
more impressively than a whole series of routine modulations. The
Development speaks for itself. Though there is little polyphonic
treatment, it holds our interest by reason of the harmonic variety and
the dramatic touches of orchestration. In Schubert we do not look for
the development of a complicated plot but give ourselves up
unreservedly to the enjoyment of pure melodic line, couched in terms
of sensuously delightful tone-color. The transitional passage of the
Recapitulation (measures 231-253) illustrates Schubert's fondness for
modulation just for its own sake; we care not what the objective point
of the music may be--enthralled, as we are, by the magical shifts of
scene. In the Second Movement, likewise, the chief beauty--especially
of the second theme--consists in the lyric quality, in the color of
the solo instruments, the oboe, clarinet and horn, and in the
enharmonic changes, _e.g._, where, in measures 80-95, the theme
modulates from C-sharp minor to D-flat major. Note in the orchestral
score the charming dialogue in this passage between the clarinet, oboe
and flute. The Development, based upon the second theme, with some
effective canonic treatment, shows that Schubert was by no means
entirely lacking in polyphonic skill. At any rate he can work wonders
with the horn, for at the close of the Development (measures 134-142)
by the simple device of an octave leap, _ppp_, he veritably transports
the listener, _e.g._

[Music]

The Coda has a dream-like quality all its own.

[Footnote 183: So appropriately called by Berlioz the "heroine of the
orchestra."]

Weber's permanent contribution to musical literature has proved to be
his operas--a form of art not treated in this book. But the whole
nature of his genius was so closely related to the Romantic spirit, as
shown in the intimate connection between literature and music, in his
descriptive powers and his development of the orchestra, that for the
sake of comprehensiveness some familiarity should be gained with the
essential features of his style. Of Weber it may be said with
conviction that there is hardly a composer of acknowledged rank in
whom style, _i.e._, the way and the medium by which musical thought is
presented, so prevails over the substance of the thought itself. There
are few if any of Weber's melodies which are notable for creative
power, and as a harmonist he was lamentably weak. It has been
scathingly said, though with considerable truth, that all his melodies
are based upon an alternation of tonic and dominant chords![184] But
when we consider what his themes are meant to describe, the pictures
they evoke and their orchestral dress, we must acknowledge in Weber
the touch of real poetic genius. To quote Runciman[185]--

"If you look, and look rightly, for the right thing in Weber's music,
disappointment is impossible, though I admit that the man who
professes to find there the great qualities he finds in Mozart,
Beethoven, or any of the giants, must be in a very sad case. Grandeur,
pure beauty, and high expressiveness are alike wanting. Weber's claim
to a place amongst the composers is supported in a lesser degree by
the gifts which he shared, even if his share was small, with the
greater masters of music, than by his miraculous power of vividly
drawing and painting in music the things that kindled his imagination.
Being a factor of the Romantic movement, that mighty rebellion against
the tyranny of a world of footrules and ledgers, he lived in a world
where two and two might make five or seven or any number you pleased,
and where footrules were unknown; he took small interest in drama
taken out of the lives of ordinary men and enacted amidst every-day
surroundings; his imagination lit up only when he thought of haunted
glens and ghouls and evil spirits, the fantastic world and life that
goes on underneath the ocean, or of men or women held by ghastly
spells."

[Footnote 184: A striking illustration of this progression (surely
Weber's most characteristic mannerism) is naïvely supplied by
Weingartner; when, in his own orchestral arrangement of Weber's
_Invitation to the Dance_, for the final climax he assembles all the
leading themes in combination--an effect made possible only by their
common harmonic basis.]

[Footnote 185: This whole article is well worth reading and may be
found in that breezy though somewhat erratic volume called _Old Scores
and New Readings_.]

Weber's present-day fame rests upon the Overtures to his three operas
of _Der Freischütz_, _Euryanthe_ and _Oberon_, which are often played
in detached concert form and hold their own for their romantic glow
and for the brilliancy of orchestral effect. By employing for his
thematic material the leading melodies of the operas themselves Weber
has created what may be called epitomized dramas which, if we have any
knowledge of what the titles imply, present us with realistic
pictures. For the use of special tone-color to enhance the dramatic
situation Weber is the precursor of that type of orchestration which
has reached such heights in Wagner and other moderns. From the above
comments it is evident that only the barest idea of the Overtures can
be gained from a pianoforte version; we have selected _Oberon_[186]
because it suffers less than either of the others. Everyone, however,
should become familiar with the mysterious, boding passage in the
introduction to _Der Freischütz_ (taken from the scene in the Wolf's
Glen) and the Intermezzo from _Euryanthe_ for muted, divided
strings,[187] which accompanies the apparition of the ghost. This is
_genuine_ descriptive music for it really _sounds ghostly_. (See
Supplement No. 51.)

[Footnote 186: Not given in the Supplement since good arrangements for
two and four hands are numerous. To gain the real effect the student
is strongly advised to consult the orchestral score.]

[Footnote 187: The genesis of so many similar effects in modern music,
notably in Wagner.]

The _Oberon Overture in D major_, begins with the intoning of the
motto of Oberon's magic horn, and then follows a passage for muted
strings (piano e adagio sostenuto) and for delicate combinations of
the wood-wind instruments, which gives us a picture of the moonlit
glens of fairyland, peopled with airy spirits. The vision is
dispelled by a sudden _ff_ chord for full orchestra which, from its
setting, is one of the loudest effects in music, thoroughly
characteristic of Weber's penchant for dramatic contrast. The main
body of the work (allegro con fuoco) opens with a dashing theme for
the strings of great brilliancy, most typical of Weber. Though we may
feel that it has little substance (note the tonic and dominant
foundation of the harmony) we cannot be insensible to its abounding
vigor. It is not alone the ponderous things which should move our
imaginations; even a soap-bubble is a wonderful phenomenon. The theme
is expanded to a climax, in measure 28 (counting from the allegro), of
great sonority and considerable harmonic boldness. After some
reminiscent appearances of the introductory horn-call, a
long-sustained dominant note introduces the second theme which seems a
bit cloying, to be sure, but is just suited to the melting tone-color
of the clarinet. The closing theme borders on triviality; the
Exposition ends, however, with some exceedingly brilliant
improvisations on the rhythmic figure of the main theme. The following
Development is rather flimsy and we need expend upon it no critical
powder. Weber was a great colorist but not a great architect. These
qualities are united only too seldom. In the Recapitulation, which is
shortened by the omission of the second theme--rather overworked in
the Development--he is once more on his own ground of rhythmic life
and dazzling orchestral color. At the close we are convinced that the
overture has accomplished its purpose of graphically depicting the
revels of Fairy-land.

Although they are seldom[188] played to-day, no account of Weber would
be complete which entirely passed over his compositions for the
Pianoforte, _i.e._, the four Sonatas, the concert piece in F minor and
the originally conceived _Invitation to the Dance_, often played in
the orchestral version of Berlioz which is so much better than the
inflated, bombastic one by Weingartner. Weber is classed as one of the
founders of the "brilliant school" of pianoforte playing which,
chiefly through the genius of Franz Liszt, has done so much to enlarge
the sonorous and coloristic possibilities of the instrument. Here
again Weber's fame rests more upon his influence than upon lasting
achievement; as to the importance of this influence, however, there
can be no doubt.

[Footnote 188: Perhaps the whirligig of time may restore them; who can
say?]

The student will be repaid for informing[189] himself as fully as
possible concerning Weber's career and artistic ideals, for he was a
genuine though early exponent of Romantic tendencies. Of marked
versatility, of no mean literary skill and of such social magnetism
and charm that he might properly be considered a man of the world, as
well as an artist, Weber was thus enabled to do pioneer work in
raising the standard of musicianship and in bringing the art of music
and ordinary, daily life into closer touch.

[Footnote 189: The life in Grove's Dictionary is well worth while;
there are essays by Krehbiel and others and, above all, the
biographical and critical accounts in the two French series: _Les
Musiciens Célèbres_, and _Les Maîtres de la Musique_.]




CHAPTER XIII

SCHUMANN AND MENDELSSOHN


In distinction from pioneers like Schubert, slightly tinged with
Romanticism, and Weber who, though versatile, was somewhat lacking in
creative vigor, Schumann (1810-1856) stands forth as the definite,
conscious spokesman of the Romantic movement in German art just as
Berlioz was for art in France. He was endowed with literary gifts of a
high order, had a keen critical and historical sense and wrote freely
and convincingly in support of his own views and in generous
recognition of the ideals of his contemporaries. Many of his swans, to
be sure, proved later to be geese, and it is debatable how much good
was done by his rhapsodic praise to young Brahms; whether in fact he
did not set before the youngster a chimerical ideal impossible of
attainment. Schumann early came under the influence of Jean Paul
Richter, that incarnation of German Romanticism, whom he placed on the
same high plane as Shakespeare and Beethoven. An intimate appreciation
of much that is fantastic and whimsical in Schumann is possible only
through acquaintance with the work of this Jean Paul. Schumann's first
compositions were for the pianoforte--in fact his original
ambition[190] was to be a pianoforte virtuoso--and to-day his
permanent significance depends on the spontaneity in conception and
the freedom of form manifested in these pianoforte works and in his
romantic songs. Here we have the "ipsissimus Schumann," as von Bülow
so well remarks. Schumann's pianoforte style is compounded of two
factors: first, his intensely subjective and varied imagination which,
nourished by the love of Romantic literature, craved an individual
mode of expression; second, a power of concentration and of organic
structure which was largely derived from a study of Bach and of the
later works of Beethoven. Schumann saw that the regularity of abstract
form, found in the purely classical writers, was not suited to the
full expression of his moods and so he worked out a style of his own,
although in many cases this was simply a logical amplification or
modification of former practice. In his pianoforte compositions, then,
we find a striking freedom in the choice of subject, which is
generally indicated by some poetically descriptive title, _e.g._,
_Waldscenen_, _Nachtstücke_, _Fantasiestücke_, _Novelletten_,
_Kreisleriana_, _Humoreske_, etc. The danger in this form of subject
matter is that it often degenerates into sentimentality coupled with a
corresponding spinelessness of structure. This danger Schumann avoids
by a style noticeable for terseness and structural solidity. His
effort was to give significance to every note; all verbiage,
meaningless scale passages and monotonous arpeggios were swept away,
while the imagination was aroused by the bold use of dissonances and
by the variety of tone-color. A thoroughly novel feature was the
flexibility of the rhythm, which breaks from the old "sing-song"
metres and abounds in syncopations, in contrasted accents, and in
subtle combinations of metrical groups; every effort being made to
avoid the tyranny of the bar-line.

[Footnote 190: Because of an unfortunate accident to one of his
fingers this ambition, however, had to be abandoned. The world thereby
gained a great composer.]

Schumann's career was peculiar in that, beginning as a pianoforte
composer, he tried successively every other form as well--the song,
chamber music, works for orchestra, and for orchestra with solo voices
and chorus--and won distinction to a greater or less degree in every
field save that of the opera. Notwithstanding the beauty of poetic
inspiration enshrined in the four symphonies, a grave defect is the
quality of orchestral tone which greets the ear, especially the modern
ear accustomed to the many-hued sonority of Wagner, Tchaikowsky,
Debussy and others. These symphonies have been called "huge pieces for
four hands" which were afterwards orchestrated, and the allegation is
not without truth, as real orchestral glow and brilliancy is so often
lacking. Each one, however, has notable features, _e.g._, the sublime
Adagio of the 2d, and the touching Romanza of the 4th, and each is
worthy of study; for Schumann in certain aspects furnishes the best
avenue of approach to the modern school. In the Fourth Symphony he
obliterates the pauses between the movements and fuses them all
together; calling it a Symphony "in einem Satze" and anticipating the
very same procedure that Schönberg follows in his String Quartet which
has had recent vogue. Schumann's chief contribution to the development
of the German Song lay in the pianoforte part, which with Schubert and
Mendelssohn might properly be called an accompaniment, however rich
and varied. But in Schumann the pianoforte attains to a real
independence of style, intensifying in the most subtle and delicate
way every shade of poetic feeling in the text. In fact, it is often
used to reveal some deep meaning beyond the expressive power of words.
This is seen in the closing measures of "Moonlight" where the voice
ceases in suspense, and the instrument completes the eloquence of the
message. Schumann's great achievement as a literary man was his
founding, in 1834, of the _Neue Zeitschrift für Musik_, to which he
himself contributed many stimulating and suggestive essays, opposing
with might and main the Philistinism which so pervaded the music of
his time. He even established an imaginary club, called the
Davidsbund, to storm the citadel of Philistia.

The best eulogy of Schumann is the recognition that many of the
tendencies in modern music, which we now take for granted, date from
him: the exaltation of freedom and fancy over mere formal
presentation, the union of broad culture with musical technique, and
the recognition of music as the art closest in touch with the
aspirations of humanity. He was an idealist with such perseverance and
clearness of aim that his more characteristic work can never die.


DES ABENDS.

The _Fantasiestücke_[191], op. 12, of which this piece is the first,
amply justify their title, for they abound in soaring thoughts, in
fantastic, whimsical imaginings and in novel modes of utterance and
structure. Every number of the set is a gem, _In der Nacht_ being
perhaps the most poetic of Schumann's short pieces for the pianoforte.
They are thoroughly pianistic and evoke from the instrument all its
possibilities of sonority and color. In point of texture they
illustrate that happy combination, which Schumann worked out, of lyric
melodies on a firmly knit polyphonic basis. They are also
programmistic in so far as Schumann believed in music of that type.
There is no attempt to tell a detailed story or to have the music
correspond literally to definite incidents. The titles merely afford a
verbal clue to the general import and atmosphere of the music. Thus in
regard to the piece under consideration, the mere mention of eventide
is supposed to be enough to stimulate thought in any one with a
sensitive imagination, and the music is a suggestive expression of
Schumann's own intimate reveries. The piece is in extended two-part
form--each part repeated--and rounded out with an eloquent Coda. The
rhythmic scheme is of particular significance for it illustrates not
only the composer's fondness for inventing new combinations, but, as
well, suggests most delicately the mood of the piece. It would
evidently be false art to write a piece, entitled Evening, in a
vigorous, arousing rhythm, such as might be associated with a noon-day
sun, when we often see the heat-waves dancing over the fields. On the
other hand Schumann, by a subtle blending of triple time in the main
upper melody and duple time in the lower, suggests that hazy
indefiniteness appropriate to the time of day when the life of Nature
seems momentarily subsiding and everything sinking to rest, _e.g._

[Music]

In many measures of the second part (_i.e._, 21-24) the accent is so
disguised that it seems as if we were in a twilight revery, quite
apart from matters of time and space.

[Footnote 191: As the music is readily procurable the student should
make himself familiar with the entire set.]


WARUM?

This piece is a happy illustration of the intensity of meaning and the
conciseness of structure which Schumann gained by the application of
polyphonic imitation. It is difficult to say exactly what _Warum_
signifies. It was characteristic of the Romantic unrest of the German
mind to question everything--especially "Why am I not more happy in
love?" The motto may be considered a Carlyle-like "everlasting why."
At any rate the composition is an example of music speaking more
plainly than words; for no one can fail to recognize the haunting
appeal in the theme with its long-drawn out final note after the
upward leap. It is a real musical question, _e.g._

[Music]

_Grillen_, the next piece in the set, deserves careful study. It is
too long to present as a whole, but we cite the middle part (See
Supplement No. 52) as it is such a convincing example of syncopated
effect (_i.e._, the persistent placing of the accent on weak beats),
and of elasticity in the metric scheme.


_Novellette in E major._

This piece illustrates the vigor and massiveness of Schumann's
pianoforte style. Note the sonority gained by the use of widely spaced
chords. For the brilliant effect demanded, there should be a liberal
use of the damper pedal.[192] We likewise find, beginning with the
third brace, some characteristic polyphonic imitations which give to
the movement a remarkable concentration. In the middle contrasting
portion it seems as if Schumann had taken a leaf out of Chopin's
book--a beautiful, lyric melody floating on an undercurrent of
sonorous, arpeggio chords. The theme is presented in dialogue form,
first in the upper voice, next in an inner voice and finally in the
bass. (See Supplement No. 53.)

[Footnote 192: A beautiful contrast may be made by playing the section
in F major with the "una corda" pedal throughout.]


SONG, _Mondnacht_.

No estimate of Schumann would be fair or comprehensive without some
mention of his songs; upon which, together with his pianoforte
compositions, his immortality tends more and more to rest.
Notwithstanding the many poetic and dramatic touches in Schubert's
accompaniments, those of Schumann are on the whole more finely
wrought; for he had the advantage of Schubert in being, himself, a
pianist of high attainment, thoroughly versed in pianistic effects.
His imagination was also more sensitive to subtle shades of meaning in
the text and he was inspired by the wonderful lyrics of Heine,
Eichendorff and Chamisso who in Schubert's day had written very
little. Special features of Schumann's songs are the instrumental
preludes and postludes, the prelude establishing just the right
setting for the import of the words and the postlude commenting on the
beautiful message which the voice has just delivered. In _Mondnacht_,
for example, (as previously mentioned), note how the voice stops in
suspense and in what an eloquent revery the accompaniment completes
the picture. (See Supplement No. 54.)


OVERTURE TO _Manfred_.

This Overture, the first of a set of incidental numbers which Schumann
composed to illustrate Byron's dramatic poem, represents some of his
most typical inspiration, and so is well worthy of our study. The
music is labored at times, especially in the Development, and the
orchestration is often dry and stereotyped. But the conception was a
powerful one, and there is a genuine correspondence between the nature
of the music and the spirit of the poem. It is evident that the
subject made a deep impression on Schumann, whose own imagination,
addicted to mysterious and even morbid broodings, was strongly akin to
that of Byron's fictitious character. The composition is program music
of the subjective order, comparable to Beethoven's _Coriolanus_,
_i.e._, the themes are dramatic characterizations: the first typifying
the stormy nature of Manfred; the second, with its note of pleading,
the mysterious influence over the recluse of the spirit of Astarte. As
in all works of this kind the music cannot be readily appreciated
without a knowledge of the poem which it illustrates.[193] As for the
structure, Schumann clings too closely to the Sonata-form. The music
is eloquent just in proportion as he gives his fancy free rein; where
he tries to force the themes into an arbitrary mould, the result is
unsatisfactory--especially the development, which is neither very
dramatic nor interesting from a purely musical point of view. The work
opens with three spasmodic syncopated[194] chords, and then follow
twenty-four measures (lento and at first pianissimo) of a preludial
nature with suggestions of the Manfred theme. The movement becomes
gradually faster and more impassioned until, in measure 26, we reach
the presentation of the first theme (allegro agitato) which, with its
frequent syncopations, is characteristic of Manfred's restless
nature. The transition begins in measure 39; at first with a
repetition of the main theme, which soon modulates to F-sharp minor,
in which key the second theme enters, in measure 51. This theme--in
three portions--seems to embody different aspects of the feminine
influence of Astarte. The first portion, measures 51-61, with its
undulating, chromatic outline, may be said to typify the haunting
apparition so real to Manfred's imagination and yet so intangible; the
second, 62-67, contains a note of impassioned protest, and the third,
68-77, is a love message of tender consolation. If this interpretation
seem too subjective, a careful reading of the drama where Astarte
appears (pp. 284-285 in the Everyman's Edition) will, we believe,
corroborate it. The rest of the Exposition consists in a treatment of
the Astarte motive, primarily of a musical nature; though there is a
real dramatic intensity in measures 96-103, which are an expansion of
the love message with its characteristic "appoggiatura." The
Development, beginning in measure 132, is a striking example of how
difficult it was--even for an exponent of freedom in musical
expression like Schumann--to break loose from the shackles of
arbitrary form. The musical thought is kept in motion, to be sure, but
that is about all; for the treatment is often very labored, and
nothing is added to the dramatic picture. The world had to await the
work of Tchaikowsky, and Strauss for a satisfactory adjustment[195]
between the demands of dramatic fitness and the needs of musical
structure. In the Coda, beginning measure 258, Schumann--now that he
is free from considerations of structure--gains a dramatic effect of
truly impressive power. The horns, supported by trumpets and
trombones, intone a funeral dirge of touching solemnity (evidently
suggested by the closing death scene of the drama) while, above, hover
portions of the Astarte motive, as if even in his death her influence
was paramount in Manfred's imagination, _e.g._

[Music]

Notwithstanding certain blemishes, this Overture at the time of its
composition was a landmark in the development of program music, and if
to our modern tastes it seems a bit antiquated, this is largely
because of the great progress which has since been made.[196]

[Footnote 193: The poem is easily procured in a volume of Everyman's
Library.]

[Footnote 194: These chords are an amusing example of a "paper
effect," for unless you watch the conductor's beat, it is impossible
to feel the syncopation. There being no first beat proper, the chords
are syncopated against the air!]

[Footnote 195: For pertinent comments on this point see Newman's essay
on Program Music, pp. 134-135, in his _Musical Studies_.]

[Footnote 196: In studying this work consult, if possible, the
orchestral score. For those who need a condensed two-hand arrangement,
the Litolff edition is to be recommended.]


SYMPHONY IN D MINOR.

This Symphony is selected from Schumann's four, both for the peculiar
romantic beauty of its themes and because the form in which it is cast
makes it an important connecting link between the freedom of
structure, instituted by Beethoven, and the Symphonic Poem of Liszt
and other modern composers. All of Schumann's symphonies contain
genuine beauties and should be familiar to the cultivated musician.
Perhaps the first in B-flat major is the most sustained, and it has a
freshness and buoyancy summed up in its title, the _Spring_, by which
it is popularly known. The exuberance of the Finale is pure Schumann
and is expressed with an orchestral eloquence in which he was
frequently lacking.[197] The Second Symphony is notable for its
sublime Adagio, Schumann's love-song--comparable to the slow movement
of Beethoven's Fourth. At some future day, conductors will have the
courage to play this movement by itself like a magnificent Torso, for
indubitably the other movements have aged beyond recall. The Third
Symphony, known as the _Rhenish_ (composed when Schumann was living at
Düsseldorf on the Rhine) is significant for its incorporation of
popular melodies from the Rhineland, and for the movement, scored
chiefly for trombones and other brass instruments, which gives a
picture of some ceremonial occasion in the Cologne Cathedral.

[Footnote 197: It is more than a matter of mere chronology to realise
that the D minor Symphony was composed in the same year as the B-flat
major. It was afterwards revised and published as No. 4, but the
vitality and spontaneity of its themes come from the first gush of
Schumann's inspiration.]

The Fourth Symphony is an uneven work, for there are many places where
Schumann's constructive power was unequal to his ideal conceptions. We
often can see the joints, and the structure--in places--resembles a
rag-carpet rather than the organic texture of an oriental rug. But the
spontaneous outpouring of melody touches our emotions and well-nigh
disarms criticism. Schumann had constantly been striving for a closer
relationship[198] between the conventional movements of the symphony;
and his purpose, in the structural treatment adopted, is indicated by
the statement published in the full score--"Introduction, Allegro,
Romanze, Scherzo und Finale _in einem Satze_" _i.e._, the work is to
be considered as a _continuous whole_ and not broken up into arbitrary
movements with rigid pauses between. The long drawn-out
Introduction,[199] with its mysterious harmonies, leads us into the
land of romance, and a portion of this introduction is happily carried
over and repeated in the Romanze. The First movement proper, from
_Lebhaft_, seems at first as if it were to be in the customary
Sonata-form; the Exposition beginning with two themes in the normal
relationship of minor and relative major, though to be sure the second
theme is more of a supplementary expansion of the first than one which
provides a strong contrast. But after the double bar and repeat, this
first theme is developed in a free preludial manner as if it were
continually leading up to a climax. We are finally rewarded by a new
theme of great warmth which amply makes up for any lack of
individuality in the second theme proper, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 198: We find traces of this tendency in the First Symphony,
where the Slow Movement and the Scherzo are linked together, likewise
in the Second, where the motto of the first movement is repeated at
the end of the Scherzo.]

[Footnote 199: The analysis is based, as usual, on the orchestral
score; for class-room study there are excellent editions for two and
four hands.]

The rest of the movement consists of additional improvisations, rather
too rigidly sectionalized, on the first theme and a second appearance
of the interpolated theme. This theme, with rhythmic modifications,
serves also as the basis for the brilliant Coda; for there is no
Recapitulation proper, and it is evident that the movement is an
extended prelude for what is to come--a first portion of the work as a
whole. After a dramatic pause,[200] which enhances the feeling of
expectancy (so prominent in the first movement) followed by a
sustained modulatory chord, the Romanze begins with a plaintive theme
in A minor. The mood is that of an idealized serenade, and in the
original score the accompaniment for the oboe melody was given to the
guitar[201] to secure the appropriate atmosphere. After the first
statement of the theme there is an interpolated quotation of the
characteristic passage from the introduction, which serves to bind the
movements together both in structure and in relationship of mood. The
movement is in clear-cut three-part form and the middle contrasting
section in the major mode reveals a sustained descending melody played
by the body of strings, which is delicately embellished by an obligato
variant given to a solo violin, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 200: Concert-goers may well be reminded that there should be
_no_ applause between the movements of this work. One of the most
pernicious ideas of the public is that as soon as the music ceases,
handclapping should begin; whereas a complete silence is often the
very means the composer employs for intensifying what has been said
and preparing for what is to come. Let us ponder the cryptic remark
attributed to Mozart that "the rests in music are more important than
the notes."]

[Footnote 201: This was afterwards withdrawn as impracticable. What a
pity that Schumann wrote before the harp as a member of the orchestra
had come into its own. For the mood which he was trying to establish
compare the scoring of this Romanza with that in the Slow movement of
Franck's Symphony.]

At first the 'cellos, also, re-enforce this melody.

[Music]

The effect is that of an ethereal voice commenting on the beauty of
the main theme. This obligato part is of special significance, since
with rhythmic change it forms the chief theme of the Trio in the
following movement. The Romanze closes with a simple return to the
plaintive oboe melody, this time in D minor. The tonality is purposely
indefinite to accentuate the wistful feeling of the movement--the last
chords having the suspense of a dominant ending. After a short pause
we are at once whirled into the dashing Scherzo which seems to
represent the playful badinage of a Romantic lover. The Trio affords a
delightful reminiscence of the Romanze and, from a structural point of
view, is an early example of the principle of "transformation of
theme"[202] which plays so important a role in the works of Liszt,
Franck, Tchaikowsky and Dvo[vr]ák. For the melody, _e.g._,

[Music]

is a rhythmic variant of the former obligato of the solo violin, and
has this characteristic, which gives a peculiar note of surprise, that
it always begins on the third beat of the measure. Following a
repetition of the Scherzo the movement ends eloquently with a
coda-like return to the Trio which, after some modulatory changes, is
broken up into detached fragments, seeming to vanish into thin air.
There is no pause between the end of the Scherzo and the introduction,
based on the theme of the first movement, which ushers in the Finale.
This movement is in Sonata-form with a modified Recapitulation--_i.e._,
the first theme is not repeated--and with a passionate closing theme,
_e.g._,

[Music]

which atones for the intentional incompleteness with which the first
movement ends. The main theme is a compound of a vigorous march-like
motive, closely related to one of the subsidiary phrases of the first
movement, and a running figure in the bass--the derivation of which is
obvious. After a rather labored transition[203]--surely the most
mechanical passage in the whole work--we are rewarded by a melody of
great buoyancy and rhythmic life, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 202: In Brahms, who was something of a conservative as to
freedom of form, there is a striking example in the connection between
the second movement and the Finale of the Third Symphony.]

[Footnote 203: Schumann was a true poet in the spontaneity of his
themes, but often an unsuccessful architect when connecting them.]

The free Fantasie begins with a contrapuntal working-out of a figure
taken from the first theme, but it suffers from a persistent emphasis
on what, after all, is an uninteresting rhythm [Music]; there is,
furthermore, a rigid grouping of the phrases in twos and fours.
Schumann's instinct was a wise one in omitting the main theme of the
Recapitulation and in leading, as soon as possible, to the repetition
of the delightful second theme--the gem of the movement--which now
makes its orthodox appearance in the tonic. After some ejaculatory
measures, which remind us of the beginning of the Development, we have
the impassioned closing theme, referred to above, which ushers in the
free and brilliant Coda, worked up contrapuntally with ever increasing
speed. The movement ends with Schumannesque syncopations. The D minor
Symphony, thus, although not a perfect work of art, is a significant
one and repays intimate study. A long life may safely be predicted for
it by reason of the fervor and charm of its melodies. An important
historical status it will always hold, for it is the honorable
ancestor of such great symphonies as César Franck's in D minor and
Tchaikowsky's in E minor, in which we find the same freedom of form
and the same fusion of material attempted by Schumann's daring
spirit.[204]

[Footnote 204: For a detailed and illuminating study of this symphony
and of Schumann's style in general see the last essay in _Preludes and
Studies_ by W.J. Henderson. Another excellent essay may be found in
_Studies in Modern Music_ by W.H. Hadow.]

Closely connected with Schumann, chronologically and also by certain
executive associations, _e.g._, the Leipsic Conservatory, is the
career of Mendelssohn (1809-1847). There was much in common between
the two; they both were extremely versatile, of strong literary bent
and naturally drawn to the same media of expression: pianoforte, solo
voices and orchestra. And yet, so dissimilar were the underlying
strains in their temperaments that their compositions, as an
expression of their personalities, show little in common. Schumann, as
we have seen, was fantastic, mystical, a bold, independent thinker,
the quintessence of the Romantic spirit. Mendelssohn, on the other
hand, though not lacking in poetic fancy and warmth, was cautious--a
born conservative; and his early classical training, together with the
opulent circumstances of his life, served as a natural check upon the
freedom of genius. His dazzling precocity--witness the _Midsummer
Night's Dream_ Overture, composed while he was in his seventeenth
year--and a great popular success were surely not the best stimuli to
make him delve into the depths of his imagination. Undoubtedly he did
a valuable service, in his day, in uniting the leading tendencies of
the two schools: the exuberant fancy of the Romantic, and the reserve
and finish of the Classic. He has been aptly called a "Romanticist
with a classical equipment." If any appraisement be necessary to the
detriment of one or the other, it must be conceded that Schumann was
the greater genius. A just estimate of Mendelssohn's work is
difficult, for his career was so meteoric and in his life he was so
overvalued that now, with the opposite swing of the pendulum, he is as
often underrated. He was assuredly a great artist, for what he had to
say was beautifully expressed; the question hinges on the actual worth
of the message. With perfect finish there often goes a lack of power
and objective energy; somewhat the same difference that we feel
between skillful gardening and the free vitality of Nature. Although
Mendelssohn's music delights and charms there is a prevailing lack of
that deep emotion which alone can move the soul. And yet a composer
whom Wagner called "the greatest of landscape painters" and whose best
works have stood the test of time can by no means be scorned. His
descriptive Overtures for orchestra: the _Hebrides_, the _Midsummer
Night's Dream_ and the _Fair Melusine_; his _Variations Sérieuses_ for
Pianoforte and some of the _Songs without Words_[205] contain a
genuinely poetic message, flawlessly expressed. As for the pianoforte
music, when the _Songs without Words_ are called "hackneyed" we must
remember that only compositions of truly popular appeal ever have
sufficient vogue to warrant the application of this opprobrious term.
In the pianoforte _Scherzos_ and in the _Rondo Capriccioso in E major_
there is without doubt a vitality and a play of fancy easier to
criticize than to create. The prevalent mood in Mendelssohn's music is
one of sunny-hearted lightness and emotional satisfaction; and if this
be a one-sided presentation of life, it is no more so, as Pratt well
says in his _History of Music_, than the picture of gloom and sorrow
which certain other composers continually emphasize. The fact that his
descriptive Overtures, just mentioned, have been surpassed--owing to
the recent expansion in orchestral possibilities of tone-color--must
not blind us to the beauty of their content, or make us forget the
impetus they have given to modern composers. No one could possibly
find in the _Hebrides_ Overture that subtle descriptive fancy or that
wealth of orchestral coloring which exists in Debussy's marvellous
_Sea Pieces_; and yet the Mendelssohn composition is a genuine
reflection of nature in terms of music and can still be heard with
sustained attention. Wagner[206] praises highly its orchestral
effects; and a modern scholar, Cecil Forsyth,[207] considers the
tone-painting quite irresistible. A sincere tribute of admiration
should also be paid to Mendelssohn's _Concerto for Violin and
Orchestra_. Written in the most idiomatic style for the solo
instrument and containing real _violin melodies_ it is still one of
the few great works in its class. Any final critical estimate of
Mendelssohn--no matter how earnest the effort to be absolutely
fair--is inevitably involved with personal prejudices. If his music
appeals to any one, it is liked extremely and no one need be ashamed
of enjoying it, for it is sincerely felt and beautifully expressed.
Mendelssohn, himself, doubtless knew perfectly well that he was not
Bach, Beethoven or Schubert. For those whose natures crave a more
robust message, more fire and a deeper passion, there are the works of
those other composers to which they may turn.

[Footnote 205: Several of these were constantly played by both
Paderewski and De Pachman, two of the greatest virtuosi of our day:
surely a convincing tribute!]

[Footnote 206: See the _Oxford History of Music_, Vol. VI, pp. 80-84.
Anyone who cares to see what Wagner owed to Mendelssohn may compare
the opening theme, and its treatment, of the _Fair Melusine_ Overture
with the music of the Rhine Maidens in the _Rheingold_.]

[Footnote 207: See his treatise on Orchestration, p. 194.]

Let us now analyze the _Midsummer Night's Dream_ Overture,[208] "his
first and highest flight" to quote Schumann. In this work we do not
find a characterization by musical means of the emotions of the
dramatis personae, as in the _Coriolanus_ Overture; and there is
little specific correspondence between the type of theme and definite
incidents, except possibly at the beginning of the Recapitulation,
where the low tones of the Bass Tuba[209] may be thought to represent
the snores of Bottom, as the fairies hover about him. Anyone familiar
with Shakespeare's play--and such a knowledge is indispensible for a
complete enjoyment of the music--will see that Mendelssohn's object
was to give a broad, general picture of the fairy world and to
intensify, by his music, the fancy and humor found in the play. The
introductory sustained chords, pianissimo, are a happy illustration of
his deftness in tone-painting; for, assigned to the ethereal flutes
and clarinets, they constitute, as Niecks ingeniously expresses it, a
"magic formula" which ushers us into the moonlit realm of fairyland.
The first theme in E minor (Allegro di molto: throughout _pp_ and
staccato), announced by the strings, is a graphic representation of
the playful antics of the nimble elves and fairies. Its course is
twice interrupted by a peculiar, prolonged chord which seems to say,
"Hush! you are listening to the activities of beings not of this
every-day, humdrum world." The first theme has a second part in E
major (beginning at measure 62) of a pompous, march-like nature, which
may be thought to represent the dignity of Duke Theseus and his train.
The Overture being in complete Sonata-form, there occurs at this
point a short transition based on the rhythm of the first theme;
followed by a lovely cantabile melody--the second theme proper--that
typifies the romantic love pervading the play. This theme also is
expanded into several sections; the first of which may portray the
clownish Athenian tradespeople, and the second, the brays of Bottom
after he has been transformed into an ass, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 208: This is exceptionally effective in the four-hand
version--in fact, it was often played as a pianoforte duet by his
sister Fanny and himself--although the real poetic effect is
inseparably connected with the orchestral treatment.]

[Footnote 209: Originally these tones were played by the Ophicleide or
Serpent (now obsolete).]

The free fantasia, an improvisation on the first theme--although
containing a few perfunctory manipulations--sustains interest, as a
whole, by its modulations and by the suggestive orchestral effects.
The closing measures, where the pizzicato 'cellos and double basses
seem to imitate the light, tripping footsteps of the elves, is
genuinely realistic. The Recapitulation, which begins with the same
chords as the Introduction, is an illustration of bondage to classic
practise; for here they have no dramatic significance and are merely a
concession to routine procedure.[210] The first theme and the
transition, however, are effectively abridged so that the second
theme, by far the most appealing in the whole work, stands out in
greater prominence. Then follows a brilliant expansion of the closing
portions of the second theme, until we reach the Coda. This begins
with a reminiscence of the first theme which fades away into a
modified presentation of the Duke Theseus theme, followed by four
long-drawn out Amens.[211] These may signify the blessing which, in
the play, the elves bestow upon the Ducal house. The Introductory
chords dissolve the dream which the music has evoked, and we are back
once more in the world of reality.

[Footnote 210: This, after all, is a rather subtle point for a boy of
seventeen to be called upon to consider. Perhaps if he had been that
kind of a boy he might not have written the Overture at all!]

[Footnote 211: The ecclesiastical formula for an Amen being the
so-called Plagal cadence of subdominant and tonic chords.]

To suggest the attitude which we of to-day should take towards
Mendelssohn--he may justly be admired as a musician of great natural
gifts, of high ideals and of unusually finished technique in many
branches of composition. It is ungracious to censure him because he
lacks the gripping emotional power of a Beethoven or a Wagner. Those
who indulge in such narrow criticism condemn only themselves.




CHAPTER XIV

CHOPIN AND PIANOFORTE STYLE


Although Chopin (1809-1849) was less aggressively romantic than others
of the group we have been considering, in many respects his music
represents the romantic spirit in its fairest bloom. Not even yet has
full justice been done him--although his fame is growing--since he is
often considered as a composer of mere "salon-pieces" which, though
captivating, are too gossamer-like to merit serious attention. Chopin
was a life-long student of Bach; and much of his music, in its
closeness of texture, shows unmistakably the influence of that master.
Together with Schumann, he broke away from the strict formality of the
old classic forms and instituted the reign of freely conceived
tone-poems for the pianoforte: the form being conditioned by the
poetic feelings of the composer. As far as fundamental principles of
architecture are concerned, his pieces are generally simple, modeled
as they are on the two and three-part form and that of the rondo. When
he attempted works of large scope, where varied material had to be
held together, he was lamentably deficient, _e.g._, in his Sonatas. In
fact, even in such pieces as the Études and Scherzos, in the
presentation of the material we find occasional blemishes. But there
are so many other wonderful qualities that this weakness may be
overlooked. In spite of a certain deficiency in form, Chopin is
indisputably a great genius. Far too much stress has been laid on the
delicacy of his style to the exclusion of the intensity and bold
dramatic power that characterize much of his music to a marked
degree. Though of frail physique,[212] and though living in an
environment which tended to overdevelop his fastidious nature, Chopin
had a fiery soul, which would assert itself with unmistakable force.
His music by no means consists solely of melting moods or languorous
sighs; he had a keen instinct for the dissonant element (witness
passages in the G minor Ballade); he was a daring harmonic innovator;
and much of his music is surcharged with tragic significance. A born
stylist, he nevertheless did not avoid incessant labor to secure the
acme of finish. So perfect in his works is the balance between
substance and treatment, that they make a direct appeal to
music-lovers of every nation. In listening to Chopin we are never
conscious of turgidity, of diffuseness, of labored treatment of
material. All is direct, pellucid; poetic thoughts are presented in a
convincingly beautiful manner. He was a great colorist as well, and in
his work we must recognize the fact that color in music is as distinct
an achievement of the imagination as profound thought or beauty of
line. Chopin's position in regard to program music is an interesting
subject for speculation. Few of his works bear specifically
descriptive titles; and it is well known that he had little sympathy
with the extreme tendencies of Berlioz and Liszt. Yet there is, in
general, something more than an abstract presentation of musical
material, however beautiful. The varied moods aroused by the Ballades
and Nocturnes, the actual pictures we see in the Polonaises, must have
had their counterpart in definite subjective experiences in the life
of the composer, and so from a broad psychological standpoint--even in
the absence of explanatory titles--we may call Chopin a thoroughly
romantic tone-poet; indeed, as Balzac says, "a soul which rendered
itself audible."

[Footnote 212: He was born of a Polish mother and a French father, and
these mixed strains of blood account fundamentally for the leading
characteristics of his music. From the former strain came the
impassioned, romantic and at times chivalrous moods, prominent in all
Polish life and art; and from the latter the grace, charm and finish
which we rightly associate with the French nature. For side-lights on
Chopin's intimacy with George Sand see the well-known essays by Henry
James and René Doumic.]

As Chopin composed so idiomatically for his chosen instrument, the
pianoforte, to which he devoted himself exclusively,[213] no
understanding or adequate appreciation of the subtleties of his style
is possible without some knowledge of the nature and attributes of
this instrument which, in our time, has become the universal medium
for the rendering of music. All of Chopin's works were not only
published for the pianoforte but were conceived in _terms_ of the
pianoforte; his style in this respect being quite unique in the
history of musical art. For there are noble and poetically inspired
thoughts of many composers which may be satisfactorily presented
through a number of media: pianoforte, organ, string-quartet or
voices. This fact has been the cause of many so-called transcriptions
of orchestral or string-quartet music for the organ. A composer,
furthermore, often publishes a work for a certain instrument when the
inner evidence shows that, during the period of creation, he actually
had some other medium in mind. Beethoven's Sonatas abound[214] in
effects which, for their complete realization, require an orchestra;
so that, notwithstanding the beauty of the thought, his style is often
anything but pianistic. In certain of César Franck's pianoforte works
we are conscious of his predilection for the organ, as the spirit of
the music demands a sustained volume of sound which the organ, with
its powerful lungs, alone can give. But if the full beauty of Chopin's
conception is to be gained, his music must be played on the pianoforte
and on nothing else. The pianoforte has, to be sure, several
limitations; it is not per se a loud instrument in comparison with a
trumpet or an organ, and the whole nature of its tone is
evanescent--that is, as soon as the tone is produced, it begins to
fade away, [decrescendo symbol]. This latter apparent limitation,
however, is in fact one of its most suggestive beauties; for nothing
is more stimulating to the imagination than the dying away of a
beautiful sound, as may be felt in the striking of a clear-toned bell,
or in the wonderful diminuendo of the horn. This effect, inherent in
pianoforte tone, should be more utilized rather than deplored,
especially since dwelling on a delightful harmony or a single dramatic
note is a definite characteristic of "tempo rubato"--that peculiar
feature of Chopin's rhythm. The pianoforte can neither steadily
sustain a tone [sustaining symbol] nor increase it [crescendo symbol];
achievements for which the strings and the wind instruments are so
valued. On the other hand, the instrument has the merits of great
sonority and marvellous coloristic possibilities; and when music is
composed for the pianoforte by one who understands its secrets and,
furthermore, when it is properly played, it is quite the finest[215]
instrument ever yet brought under the control of a single performer.
Again, the pianoforte is not meant for great rapidity of utterance,
such as, for instance, we associate with the violin, the flute or the
clarinet. It is, in fact, often played _too fast_, sounding like a
pianola or a machine rather than an instrument with a soul. If there
be no lingering over the notes, beautiful effects have no opportunity
to be heard. Rapidity and brilliance on the pianoforte do not depend
on so many notes per second but on vitality and precision of accent.
These admirable qualities of the instrument are due to the great
number of vibrating metal strings (in a modern concert-grand, about
two hundred and thirty, _i.e._, three strings to each of the twelve
notes of the seven octaves, save for a few of the lowest bass notes);
to the large sounding board (about twenty-four square feet, on the
largest model), and above all to the damper pedal which Rubinstein--so
appropriately--calls the soul of the pianoforte. The very term
Pianoforte implies a wealth of meaning; for a special glory of the
instrument is its power of shading, its flexibility of utterance, from
piano to forte or vice versa. The limits themselves, to be sure, are
not so striking as in certain other instruments, _e.g._, the
pianoforte cannot produce the almost ghostly whisper of which the
clarinet is capable, nor can it equal the trumpet or the trombone in
intensity or volume. But it can produce a very beautiful pianissimo;
and if a sense of relativity be kept, and soft effects begun quietly
enough, it can be made to sound with remarkable brilliancy. The
pianoforte should always be played with a keen regard for this power
of shading, of nuance; the tones should undulate like the winds or the
waves. Anything like the steady sostenuto level for which the organ
shows itself so fitted is, except for special effects, entirely
foreign to the nature of the pianoforte. Nor should we ever attempt to
make it, per se, a loud, overpowering instrument. Its forte and its
brilliancy are purely relative; and, when forced to do something
unsuited to its real nature, it protests with a hard, unmelodious
tone.

[Footnote 213: The few exceptions being the Polish Songs, the Trio for
Violin, 'Cello and Pianoforte and the orchestral accompaniment to the
two Concertos.]

[Footnote 214: There will occur to every one numerous passages in
which the pianoforte is expected to be a kettle-drum, or where the
figuration is far better suited to the violin than to the hand in
connection with keys.]

[Footnote 215: This by reason of its combined powers in melody,
harmony and rhythm. Some of these qualities it shares, to be sure,
with the organ; but the organ is inherently lacking in rhythm, and its
solid, block-like tones do not exercise the same fascination upon the
imagination as do the fleeting sounds of the pianoforte. It is, of
course, possible and desirable to enjoy both instruments--each in its
own proper sphere, and each for its characteristic effects.]

Likewise the two pedals,[216] when their technical names are
understood, imply their own meaning, just as their popular
designations hint at the way in which they are often abused. The pedal
employed by the _right_ foot, properly called the "damper pedal," is
so named because, by its action, _all_ the dampers of the key-board
may be raised simultaneously. This allows the strings to vibrate
together and to send forth great waves of colored sound like those
produced by an Aeolian harp; an effect similar to that heard when a
sea-shell is held to the ear. The pianoforte, in fact, has aptly been
called "a harp laid on its back" to which the action of keys has been
applied. Accordingly an open, flowing style (arpeggio) is one of the
idioms best suited to its nature. To secure proper contrast, a
massive, chordal style is sometimes employed by such composers as
Schumann, Brahms and Franck--even at times by Chopin himself; but that
the extended arpeggio (often merely two voices, with the body of tone
secured by the pedal) is the norm may be seen from almost any page of
Chopin's compositions. The resonance and carrying power of these waves
are intensified by raising the lid[217] of the pianoforte; for then
they are brought to a focus and projected into space. The effect
produced by raising the dampers is appropriate and beautiful, not
alone with consonant chords but, at times, equally with chords that
are unrelated; which, were they sustained for long by an organ, would
be intolerably harsh. But the tone of the pianoforte is so fleeting
that such a mixture ensures great brilliance and warmth without undue
jargon, and is thus akin to the blending of strange colors by modern
painters. Many people, in fact, play the pianoforte with too _little_,
rather than too _much_, pedal; or with too much pedal used the wrong
way! A definite attempt should be made to cultivate a feeling for
color and warmth of tone; a hard, colorless tone on the pianoforte
being a great blemish as it is so unnecessary. The following passage
illustrates the above points.

[Footnote 216: It is understood that all the comments are based on the
action of a concert-grand pianoforte, since on an upright or a
square--because of mechanical limitations of space--the effects are
quite different.]

[Footnote 217: In this connection, even at the risk of seeming to
preach, let the advice be given that _nothing_ should ever be put on
top of a grand pianoforte: neither flowers, afternoon tea-sets,
bird-cages, books, nor even an aquarium! For the lid is not merely a
cover, but an additional sounding-board, and must always be in
readiness to be so used. The pianoforte as a coloristic instrument, in
short, is completely itself _only_ when played with the lid raised.]

[Music: CHOPIN: _Barcarolle_]

There is really no such thing on the pianoforte as a "pure" single
tone. It is an acoustical law that no tone exists by itself, but
always generates a whole series of overtones[218] or "upper partials,"
as they are called, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 218: An instrument designed to reinforce these upper tones,
so that they may be clearly heard, is to be found in any Physical
Laboratory. That these tones really vibrate "sympathetically" may be
proved by striking _ff_ [Transcriber's Note: Music example indicates
_sf_] this note [Music: C2 With damper pedal] and then pressing down
_very lightly_ the keys of G and E just above middle C, thus removing
the individual dampers of these notes. In a quiet room the tones are
distinctly audible. For another rewarding experiment of the same
nature, see the Introduction to the first volume of Arthur Whiting's
_Pedal Studies_ and the well-known treatise of Helmholtz.]

Even what we call the perfectly consonant chord of C major, _e.g._,
[Music] would be slightly qualified and colored by the B-flat, and
this effect has actually been utilized by Chopin in the final cadence
of his Prelude in F major, No. 23, _e.g._

[Music]

In this example the E-flat must be very delicately accented and _both_
pedals freely used.

Let it be clearly understood, therefore, that the damper
pedal--popularly but erroneously called the "loud pedal"--has nothing
to do with "noise" as such. Its purpose is to amplify and color the
waves of sound and these waves may vary all the way from _pp_ to _ff_.
The dynamic gradation of pianoforte tone is caused by the amount of
force with which the hammer strikes the wires; and this power is
applied by the attack and pressure of the fingers. The damper pedal
will, to be sure, reinforce fortissimo effects, but logically it is
only a _means_ of _reinforcement_ and should never be used so that a
mere "roar of sound" is produced. The normal pianoforte tone, however,
is that brought forth in connection with the damper pedal, and only to
gain an effect of intentional coolness and dryness do we see in
pianoforte literature the direction "senza pedal"; passages so marked
being often most appropriate as a strong contrast to highly colored
ones.[219]

[Footnote 219: For a complete and illuminating treatise on the pedals
and their artistic use, see the aforesaid two volumes of _Pedal
Studies_ by Arthur Whiting (G. Schirmer, New York).]

An important adjunct of the instrument, though even less intelligently
used, is the pedal employed by the left foot; that popularly known as
the "soft pedal," but of which the technical name is the "una corda"
pedal. By this device on a grand pianoforte the whole key-board is
shifted from left to right, so that the hammers strike but _two_ wires
in each group of three, and the third wire of the set is left free to
vibrate sympathetically. Thus a very etherial, magical quality of tone
is produced, especially in the upper ranges of the instrument. In the
middle register, passages played forte or fortissimo will have a
richness comparable to the G string of a violin. The effect is
analogous to that of a viol d'amour which has, as is well known
(stretched underneath the strings, which produce the actual tone) a
set of additional strings, freely vibrating. Although this "una
corda"[220] pedal may be used in a dynamic sense to reduce, as it
were, the size of the instrument, its chief purpose is coloristic,
_i.e._, to make possible a _special quality_ of tone. This statement
is proved by directions in pianoforte literature as far back as
Beethoven, in whose Sonatas we find the dynamic marks of _f_ and _ff_
coupled with the proscribed use of the una corda pedal. In any case,
this left-foot pedal should not be abused; for, just because the tone
quality produced thereby is so beautiful and characteristic, it soon
becomes, if constantly employed, rather cloying. The dynamic gradation
of tone is primarily a matter for the control of the fingers, _i.e._,
the touch. The damper pedal is for sonority and color; the una corda
for special shades, and all three factors--touch and the two
pedals--are combined in pianistic effects which only a trained
technique and artistic judgment can regulate.[221]

[Footnote 220: The term dates from the period when this pedal
controlled three shifts: una corda, due corde and tre corde; the
hammer striking respectively one, two or three strings. The whole
mechanism is well implied in the German word _Verschiebung_, _i.e._,
the shoving along--so frequent in Schumann's works, _e.g._, the middle
part of his _Vogel als Prophet_ from the _Waldscenen_, op. 82, No. 7.]

[Footnote 221: American pianofortes also have a middle pedal called
the "sustaining pedal," by which tones in the lower register may be
prolonged. It has not proved to be of great value, though there are
occasional passages, _e.g._, the closing measures of the second
movement of César Franck's _Violin Sonata_, where it may be
effectively employed.]

Even a slight analysis of Chopin's style proves that it is based upon
logical inferences, drawn from the series of overtones as they are
generated and reinforced by the very nature of the pianoforte. From
the wide spacing of the lower tones of the series Chopin derived the
extended grouping of his arpeggios, _e.g._,

[Music]

[Music: Prelude, No. 19]

so that the _chord_ of the _10th_, instead of the former grouping
within the octave, may be considered the basis of his harmonic scheme.
By this means a great gain was made in richness and sonority. Another
striking feature of Chopin's style is found in those groups of
spray-like, superadded notes with which the melody is embellished. It
is evident, in many cases at least, that these tones are not merely
embroidery in the ordinary sense. Rather do they represent a
reinforcement of the overtones, ideally or actually present, in
connection with bass tones and chords used in the lower part of the
musical fabric. As a striking example[222] see the long series of
descending non-harmonic tones in the Coda of the _B major Nocturne_,
op. 9, No. 3, and note the delicate colors in the closing arpeggio
chord (to be played with a free use of both pedals).

[Footnote 222: For a commentary on this passage see D.G. Mason's essay
on Chopin in _The Romantic Composers_.]

[Music]

In general, Chopin's style is homophonic--wondrous lyric melodies
which seem to float on waves of richly colored sound. But there is
also much subtly used polyphony, _i.e._, delightful phrases in inner
voices and imitative effects between the different parts. In
comparison, however, with Schumann's style (which is largely on a
polyphonic basis) Chopin is a decidedly homophonic composer.[223] A
great deal of interesting and instructive reading on Chopin is
available and the following works are especially recommended: _Chopin,
the Man and his Music_ by Huneker; the _Life of Chopin_ by Niecks; the
essay on Chopin in Mason's _Romantic Composers_ and in Hadow's
_Studies in Modern Music_; the volume on Chopin by Elié Poirée in the
series _Les Musiciens Célèbres_; and the same by Louis Laloy in the
series _Les Maîtres de la Musique_; the _Life_ by Liszt (well known
and most valuable as coming from a contemporary and brother musician);
finally a somewhat rhapsodic essay by H.T. Finck in _Chopin and Other
Essays_.

[Footnote 223: For a detailed analysis of many special features of
style see the volume by Edgar Stillman Kelly, _Chopin the Composer_.]

We select, as being thoroughly representative, the following works for
comment: the first Prelude, the A-flat major Étude, the F-sharp minor
Mazurka, the E-flat minor Polonaise, the Barcarolle and the C-sharp
minor Scherzo.[224]

[Footnote 224: To save space, no one of these pieces except the
Barcarolle is given in the Supplement, since they are readily
accessible. The _Barcarolle_, however, is given in order to make it
better known; for although it is one of the most inspired and
beautifully expressed of all Chopin's works, it is heard comparatively
seldom. The best editions of the works are those of Kullak, Mikuli and
Klindworth.]


PRELUDE IN C MAJOR, OP. 28, NO. 1.

This Prelude, the first of the set of 24, is an excellent example of
the sonority Chopin gained from widely extended chords in the bass; by
the use--characteristically bold--of dissonances (measures 13-20), and
by the sensuous richness of the closing measures, in which a wonderful
wave of sound is produced through the damper pedal, in connection with
the blending of the tonic, dominant and subdominant chords. The
prelude is a kind of intensified Bach and may well be compared with
that prelude in the same key which begins the immortal well-tempered
Clavichord. All the Preludes, for their poetic import, finished style
and pianistic effect, are masterpieces of the first rank. Schumann
well says of them: "They are sketches, eagle's feathers, all strangely
intermingled. But in every piece we recognize the hand of Frédéric
Chopin; he is the boldest, the proudest poet-soul of his time."


ÉTUDE IN A-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 25, NO. 1.

This étude, deservedly popular, may be considered the example _par
excellence_ of Chopin's style. The lyric beauty of the melody, the
fascinating modulations, the shades of color alike justify the
following rhapsodic comments of Schumann, "Imagine that an Aeolian
harp possessed all the musical scales, and that the hand of an artist
were to cause them to intermingle in all sorts of fantastic
embellishments, yet in such a way as to leave everywhere audible a
deep fundamental tone and a soft, continuously singing upper voice,
and you will get about the right idea. But it would be an error to
think that Chopin, in playing this étude, permitted every one of the
small notes to be distinctly heard. It was rather an undulation of the
A-flat major chord, here and there thrown aloft by the pedal.
Throughout the harmonies one always heard in great tones a wondrous
melody, while once only, in the middle of the piece, besides that
chief song, a tenor voice became prominent. After the étude a feeling
came over one as of having seen in a dream a beatific picture which,
when already half awake, one would gladly once more recall."


MAZURKA IN F-SHARP MINOR, OP. 6, NO. 1.

As Franz Liszt says in his life of Chopin, "The Mazurka is not only a
dance, it is a national poem, and like all poems of conquered nations,
is shaped so as to let the blazing flames of patriotic feeling shimmer
out through the transparent veil of popular melody." The chief
peculiarity of the Mazurka (which is always in triple rhythm, with a
latitude in speed from Presto to Mesto) is the scheme of
accentuation--the normal accent on the first beat being systematically
transferred to the second and third beats. We also find in the Mazurka
frequent indications for the use of the so-called "tempo rubato," a
proper conception of which is so essential in the performance of
Chopin's music. Tempo rubato--so often abused!--literally meaning
borrowed time, is simply free rhythm emancipated from rigid,
scholastic bonds. As Huneker well says, "Chopin must be played in
curves" with emotional freedom; just as the heart, when excited,
increases the speed of its pulsations, and in moments of calm and
depression slows down. The jerky, really unrhythmical playing of
certain performers reminds us of a person suffering from _palpitation_
of the heart. Liszt's description of the rubato is most suggestive: "A
wind plays in the leaves, life unfolds and develops beneath them, but
the tree remains the same." In Chopin, accordingly, the ground rhythm
should always be preserved, though varied with subtle, and yet logical
fluctuations.


POLONAISE IN E-FLAT MINOR, OP. 26, NO. 11.

The Polonaise[225] is the great national dance of the Poles; an
impassioned and yet stately pageant in which, as Liszt says, "The
noblest traditional feelings of ancient Poland are represented." This
dance--or rather, processional march--is always in triple rhythm and
based on a definite rhythmic formula: either [Music] or [Music]. The
frequent feminine endings are also a characteristic feature, _e.g._,
the cadence in the well known military Polonaise in A major:

[Music]

To return to the example being considered,--it is in Three-part form
(A, B, A, with Coda) the first part in the minor mode; the second part
beautifully contrasted by being in B major--introduced by the implied
enharmonic change from E-flat to D-sharp. This first part, remarkable
for its passionate, headlong impetuosity, should dispel any idea that
Chopin was a weak sentimentalist. Although of a delicate constitution
he certainly had a fiery soul. The second part, sotto voce--note the
feminine endings--reminds us of the muffled music of a military band
as it passes by.

[Footnote 225: For an account of its origin see the chapter in
Huneker's book and the article on the Polonaise in Grove's
Dictionary.]


BARCAROLLE IN F-SHARP MAJOR, OP. 60.

This composition, in many ways the most wonderful single piece we have
from Chopin, is the quintessence of his genius. It seems, in fact, to
contain everything: appealing melodies, wealth of harmony, bold
dissonances (note in particular the 6th and 7th measures of the Coda),
brilliant embellishments; and withal, it is written in a pianistic
style which, for richness and warmth of color, is quite unsurpassed.
It is also most sincerely conceived, intensifying the suggestiveness
of the descriptive title. Would that objective program music were
always so true to life and to the real nature of music! It is in free
three-part form, the first part of a calm nature in which we are
rocked on gently undulating waves; a more rhythmic second part where,
as Kullak says, the bass seems to suggest the monotonous steadiness of
oar-strokes; an interlude, marked "dolce sfogato," introduced by some
delightful modulations, as if in a quiet nook the poet were dreaming
of the beauties of love and nature; an impassioned return to the chief
subject, together with a partial presentation of the middle portion;
and finally a long and brilliant coda. The composition is unique in
romantic literature for its power to arouse the imagination, or, as
Schumann so well says, "to set people romancing for themselves."


SCHERZO IN C-SHARP MINOR, OP. 39.

The four Scherzos, for passion and eloquence, rank among Chopin's most
characteristic works, though it seems impossible to trace a logical
correspondence between the former classic meaning of the term
"Scherzo" and the contents revealed to us in these poems; save that
they are all in triple rhythm, hence on a dance-form basis. As Niecks
well says, "There is in them neither frolicsomeness nor humor"--such,
for example, as we find in Beethoven's Scherzos--and he suggests that
"Capriccio" might be a less misleading designation. But, however
inexplicable the title which Huneker thinks Chopin may have applied in
serious jest, there is no doubt of the uncompromising dignity of the
utterance, and there is often a grim irony, a wayward scorn, which a
liberal interpretation might well consider attributes of humor. These
were marked traits in Chopin's nature, and the Scherzos are their
revelation in terms of music. Schumann's well-known comment is
apropos--"How is gravity to clothe itself if jest goes about in dark
veils?" This Scherzo (Presto con fuoco) is in extended three-part
form; the dominant note of the first part being one of feverish
agitation, which expresses itself in spasmodic outbursts. The second
part, with its broad cantabile melody of a hymn-like character,
reveals a calmer mood. The last note of each phrase is adorned
throughout with lovely coloristic embellishments. After a return to
the first theme, the second part is also repeated; this time with
striking modulatory changes which strongly resemble the mood of
Wotan's Farewell, in the third Act of Wagner's _Valkyrie_. A long and
fiery coda of new thematic material closes the work. The major ending
is like a shaft of light dispelling storm-tossed clouds.

Chopin's works are so instinct with genius and have proved to be so
immortal that they may well be considered as ideal witnesses to the
triumph of quality over mere quantity or sensational display. To-day,
when we suffer from musical bombast, their refined message is of
special significance.




CHAPTER XV

BERLIOZ AND LISZT. PROGRAMME MUSIC


There is no doubt that Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), however varied the
appeal of his music to different temperaments, is an artistic
personality to be reckoned with; one not to be ticketed and laid on
the shelf. Although a century and more has elapsed since his birth the
permanent value of his music is still debated, often amusingly enough,
by those who seem unaware that, whatever the theoretical rights of the
case, in practice his principles are the reigning ones in modern
music. As Berlioz stands as the foremost representative of program
music and never wrote anything without a title, it is certain that
before his music or influence can be appreciated, the mind must be
cleared of prejudice and we must recognize that modern program music
is a condition--an artistic fact, not a theory--and that the tendency
towards specific, subjective expression (whether manifested in song,
opera or symphonic poem) is a dominant one among present day
composers. It is true that all music is the expression in tones of the
imagination of the composer; true, also, that music must fulfil
certain conditions of its own being. But imaginations differ. That of
Berlioz, for example, was quite a new phenomenon; and as for the
working principles of musical composition, they are as much subject to
modification as any other form of human experimentation. Berlioz,
himself, says that he never intended to subvert the laws of music,
only to make a new and individual use of them. As he was no abstract
maker of music, his autobiography--one of the most fascinating in the
history of art, only to be compared with that of Benvenuto
Cellini--should be familiar to all who would penetrate the secrets of
his style. Berlioz's compositions, in fact, are more specifically
autobiographic than those of any other notable musician. Both in his
music and his literary works are the same notes of passionate
insistence on his own point of view, of radical dislike for accepting
conditions as they were (he says of himself that he loved to make the
barriers crack) and of fondness for brilliant outward effect. In
considering Berlioz, one is always reminded of Matthew Arnold's lines
on Byron, who resembles Berlioz so closely.

    "He taught us little; but our soul
    Had felt him, like the thunder's roll.
    With shivering heart the strife we saw
    Of passion with eternal law;
    And yet with reverential awe
    We watch'd the fount of fiery life
    Which served for that Titanic strife."

Only realize that Berlioz's _Fantastic Symphony_ was composed but
twenty-one years after Haydn's death, and compare the simple,
self-centered Haydn with the restless, wide-visioned Berlioz, of a
mentality positively omnivorous; who, in addition to his musical
achievements, was a brilliant critic and _littérateur_, a man of
travel and wide acquaintance with the world. Then indeed you will
appreciate what an enormous change had come over music. A mere mention
of the authors from whom Berlioz drew his subjects: Shakespeare,
Goethe, Byron, Scott, Virgil, Hugo, shows the wide range of his
reading and the difference in output which would inevitably result.
The previous impersonal attitude towards music is shown by the very
names of compositions which, broadly speaking (till the beginning of
the 19th century) were seldom more than Symphony, Sonata, or Quartet,
No. so and so; while the movements, in an equally mechanical way, were
known by the designations of tempo: allegro, adagio, andante,
etc.--those "senseless terms," as Beethoven himself says. Beginning
pre-eminently with Berlioz, composers have had more highly cultivated
imaginations, much more to say; and the wider range of emotion
resulting therefrom has necessitated differences of form and
treatment. A frequent misconception on the part of the layman is that
worthy music should be so constructed that the hearer be spared all
mental exertion. As long as it was certain that a composer would
present just so many themes in a prescribed order and treated in the
routine fashion, listening to music was a comparatively easy task.
Since Berlioz, music has made ever greater demands on the hearer; who
only when his receptivity is of an equal degree of cultivation with
the creative power of the composer, can grasp the full meaning of the
music. The first step, therefore, toward an appreciation of Berlioz is
to recognize the peculiar, picturesque power of his imagination,
which was of an entirely new order, and may be called musico-poetic in
distinction from purely musical activity. This form of double
consciousness is equally necessary on the part of the hearer. As
Debussy, the modern French composer, so well says, people often do not
understand or enjoy new music because it differs from "une musique"
_i.e._, from a conventional and unvarying type which they have in
their mind. The real effect of Berlioz's "_Carnaval Romain_" Overture,
to take a simple example, is to complement and intensify the mental
picture which any well-read person--or better still, any one who has
actually visited Rome--will have of this characteristic incident in
Italian life. If the work be considered merely as abstract music,
notwithstanding the stimulation and delight caused by the rhythmic
vitality and by the orchestral effects, the real poetic purpose of the
composer remains unfulfilled. This peculiar quality of Berlioz was
partly the result of his fiery excitable temperament and partly the
reactive effect of the environment in which he found himself. What an
amazing group in Paris (beginning about 1830) was that with which he
was associated! De Musset, de Vigny, Liszt, Rossini, Meyerbeer,
Balzac, Dumas, Chopin, Heine, Delacroix, Géricault: young men
representing every art and several nationalities, all under the lead
of Hugo, that prince of Romanticists; their object being--revolt from
conventional standards and a complete expression of their own
personalities. Hugo, as he says in the famous preface to Cromwell, was
tearing down the plaster which hides the facade of the fair temple of
art; Dumas had just demolished Racine; Géricault and Delacroix, by
their daring conceptions, were founding our modern school of painting.
Into this maelstrom of revolution, Berlioz--he of the flaming locks,
"that hairy Romantic" as Thackeray calls him--flung himself with
temperamental ardor; for he was a born fighter and always in
opposition to someone. The audacity and dramatic energy of his
compositions are but the natural result of the tendencies of the
period. Berlioz's early career is of extreme interest to us
English-speaking people, because the first strong stimulus to his
imagination came from his acquaintance with the dramas of Shakespeare.
In 1827, some of the dramas, (such as Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet)
were played in Paris by an English company, and their effect upon
Berlioz was overwhelming. He would wander about the streets raving of
Shakespeare; he promptly fell in love with the most beautiful actress
in the troupe--Henrietta Smithson, whom he later married[226]--and
then began the frenzied period of composing and concert giving, which
came to a climax in the _Fantastic Symphony_ first performed in 1830.
Berlioz's courage and perseverance are shown by his winning the Prix
de Rome, after four failures! His two years in Italy (his picture may
still be seen at the Villa Medici), replete with amusing and thrilling
incidents, were, on the whole the happiest period of his stormy life.

[Footnote 226: For a convincing account of this tragic marriage see
the volume of _Recollections_ by Ernest Legouvé.]

But we must pass to some brief comments upon the characteristics, pro
and con, of his style. In the first place it was extremely original;
showed little or no connection with former composers; has had no
imitators, and cannot be parodied. Berlioz likewise possessed great
range of emotion--though he rarely touched the sublime; a power of
laying out works on a vast scale, and, in general, of achieving with
unerring certainty the effects desired. The poet Heine said that much
of Berlioz's music reminded him of "primeval monsters and fabulous
empires." And what a master he was of rhythm!--one of the greatest in
music! Prior to his work, and that of Schumann among the Germans, the
classic rhythms were becoming rather stereotyped; and the vigorous
elasticity introduced by these two composers has widened incalculably
the range of dramatic effect. But his indisputable claim to lasting
recognition is his genius in the treatment of the orchestra. Berlioz
had an inborn instinct for sensuous tonal effect for its own sake, and
not as the clothing of an abstract idea. With him the art of making
that composite instrument, the orchestra, give forth the greatest
beauty and variety of sound became an end in itself; and from his
ingenious and innovating effects has been evolved the orchestra as we
hear it to-day. Berlioz thought, so to speak, in terms of orchestral
color. In his melodies we do not feel that the drawing, the contour of
the pure line, is the chief thing; but that the assignment of the
melody to just the right instrument, and the color-effect thereby
produced, are integral parts of the conception. Notwithstanding the
fact that some of his effects are extravagant or at times bizarre, he
must be credited with revealing possibilities in orchestral shading
and color which, still further developed by Wagner, Strauss and
Tchaikowsky, have become conventional means of expression. Some of his
most celebrated and satisfying works, in addition to those mentioned,
are the _Harold in Italy_ Symphony, with its personification by a solo
viola of the chief character; the _Romeo and Juliet_ Symphony, for
both vocal and instrumental forces (of which the ball-scene with its
wondrous love-melody and the _Queen Mab_ Scherzo--unequalled for
daintiness--represent his highest attainments as a tone-poet) and,
most popular of all, the _Damnation of Faust_ based on scenes from
Goethe's poem. The bewitching incidental pieces for orchestra alone,
such as the _Ballet of Sylphs_ and the _Rakoczy March_, are often
played at symphony concerts, and are familiar to everyone. Certain
blemishes in Berlioz's music are obvious and need not be
over-emphasized. There is often more style and outward effect than
real substance. His works excite, but how seldom do they exalt! For he
was frequently deficient in depth of emotion and in latent
warmth--qualities quite different from the hectic glow and the
feverish passion which his French admirers, Tiersot and Boschot, claim
to be genuine attributes of musical inspiration, of power to compel
universal attention. We of other nations can only firmly dissent.
Without question his work has never succeeded in calling forth the
spontaneous love of a large body of admirers.[227] In an eloquent
passage the conductor and critic Weingartner sums up the case:
"Berlioz will always represent a milestone in the development of
music, for he is the real founder of the modern school. He did not
approach that ethical depth, that ideal purity which surround
Beethoven's name with such unspeakable glory, but no composer since
Beethoven, except Wagner, has enriched music with so many new means of
expression as this great Frenchman. Berlioz, Liszt and Wagner are the
heroes of the last half of the 19th century, just as Haydn, Mozart,
Beethoven, Weber and Schubert were of the first."

[Footnote 227: It is understood that this is merely a personal opinion
of the writer and might well have been prefaced by the Socratic "it
seems to me." Too much criticism reminds us of wine-tasting--Mr.
So-and-So likes port, Mr. So-and-So sherry. The object of fair-minded
appreciation is to understand clearly just what each composer set out
to do, _i.e._, what was the natural tendency of his individual genius;
then the only question is: did or did he not do this well? It is
futile to blame him because he was not someone else or did not achieve
what he never set out to do.]

As Berlioz is, if possible, even more idiomatic for the orchestra than
Chopin for the pianoforte, no conception of the real quality of his
message can be gained from transcriptions, however good. His
works[228] must be studied at first hand in the orchestral score and
then heard in performance by an excellent orchestra. Some preliminary
acquaintance and appreciation, however, of characteristic features in
his style is possible from arrangements and so we select for comment
the following works and movements: The _Fantastic Symphony_, the
_Carnaval Romain_ Overture, the _Ballet des Sylphes_ and the _Feux
Follets_ from the _Damnation of Faust_, the _Pilgrim's March_ from the
_Childe Harold_ Symphony and the Slow Movement from the _Romeo and
Juliet_ Symphony.[229] There is much valuable and stimulating
reading[230] about Berlioz and his influence; for, as Théophile
Gautier acutely remarks, "S'il fut un grand génie, on peut le discuter
encore, le monde est livré aux controverses; mais nul ne penserait à
nier qu'il fut un grand caractère." The _Symphonie_[231]
_fantastique_, op. 14, _épisode de la vie d'un artiste_, in five
movements is significant for being the first manifestation of
Berlioz's conviction that music should be yet more specifically
expressive, since it is founded on a characteristic theme, called
l'idée fixe which typifies the heroine, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 228: The best edition is the complete one, beautifully
engraved and with critical comments, by Malherbe and Weingartner. This
is expensive, but should be found in any large library.]

[Footnote 229: The only citations possible in the Supplement are the
Overture and portions of a few of the others.]

[Footnote 230: Particularly to be recommended are the following: the
essay in _Musical Studies_ by Newman; that by R. Rolland in _Musiciens
d'aujourd'hui_ (in French and in English); _Berlioz et la société de
son temps_ by J. Tiersot; the essay in _Studies in Modern Music_ by
Hadow; Berlioz's own _Mémoires_ (in French and in English) and his
entertaining essays, _A Travers Chants_, _Grotesques de la Musique_
and _Soirées d'Orchestre_; the excellent résumé of Berlioz's writings
in the _Amateur Series_ by W.F. Apthorp; the _Symphony since
Beethoven_ by Weingartner; and, above all, the monumental work by
Boschot in three parts--_La Jeunesse d'un Romantique_, _Un Romantique
sous Louis Philippe_, _Le Crépuscule d'un Romantique_. There is an
amusing but far from convincing assault against Berlioz as a programme
composer and, to a certain extent, against Romanticism in general, in
the _New Laocoön_ by Professor Irving Babbitt.]

[Footnote 231: On the title page of the autograph copy of the full
score is inscribed the following quotation from King Lear: "As flies
to wanton boys are we to the Gods; they kill us for their sport."]

This theme, with modifications appropriate to the changes in the
character and the environment, is repeated in each movement. As for
the theme itself, frankly it does not amount to much; it certainly
fails to take our emotions by storm or sing itself into our hearts.
Berlioz's harmonization is very bald, and as to his attempts at
development,[232] the less said the better. Of course whatever Berlioz
writes for the orchestra _sounds_ well; of that there is no doubt. But
this is not enough; any more than we are convinced by a person's
statements or arguments merely because he happens to have a beautiful
speaking voice. This dramatization of a musical theme was, after all,
nothing iconoclastically new and Berlioz is perfectly right in
claiming that he was merely extending the possibilities of that same
type of theme as is found in Beethoven himself, _e.g._, in the
_Coriolanus_ Overture and to a certain extent in the Fifth Symphony.
If, furthermore, we look back from the dramatic and highly personified
use made of themes in modern music, in the works of Strauss,
Tchaikowsky, Franck and even Brahms (_e.g._, his First Symphony with
its motto-theme) we can see that this symphony of Berlioz is an
important link in a perfectly logical chain of development. This
melody, then, l'idée fixe, appears in each of the five movements;
undergoing, however, but slight purely thematic development, being
introduced and modified primarily for dramatic purposes. In the second
movement,[233] _Un Bal_, two phrases drawn from it are sung _pp_ by
the clarinet as an indication that, amid the gaieties of the dance,
the vision of the beloved one is ever present. In the _Scène aux
Champs_ it is modified and eloquently declaimed by the flute and oboe,
_e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 232: Dannreuther, in his essay in the Sixth Volume of the
_Oxford History of Music_, speaks of the peculiar process of
"rabbeting" which serves Berlioz in the place of counterpoint, and the
criticism, though caustic, holds much truth.]

[Footnote 233: This movement is also of interest as an early example
of the Waltz among the conventional symphonic moods. The example has
been followed by Tchaikowsky in the third movement of his Fifth
Symphony.]

At the close of the movement occurs one of Berlioz's most novel and
realistic effects--the imitation of the rumbles of distant thunder
produced by four kettle-drums tuned in a very peculiar way (see page
75 of the orchestral score, Breitkopf and Härtel edition). In the
fourth movement, _Marche au Supplice_, four measures of l'idée fixe
are introduced just at the moment when the head of the hero is to be
chopped off. This is done for purely theatric purposes and certainly
makes our flesh creep--as Berlioz no doubt intended. The most
spectacular effect, however, is in the last movement, _Songe d'une
Nuit du Sabbat_, where the theme is parodied to typify the degraded
appearance which the beloved one takes in the distorted dreams of her
lover, _e.g._

[Music]

The impression made by the Symphony depends largely upon the attitude
of the hearer. In this work we are not to look for the sublimity and
emotional depth of a Bach or Beethoven any more than we expect a
whimsical comedy of Aristophanes to resemble an epic poem of Milton.
But for daring imagination, for rhythmic vitality and certainty of
orchestral effect, it was and remains a work[234] of genius.

[Footnote 234: For further comments on this Symphony see Mr. Mason's
essay in the _Romantic Composers_, an essay which, while thoughtful,
strikes the writer as somewhat biased.]


THE CARNAVAL ROMAIN OVERTURE

(SEE SUPPLEMENT NO. 57)

This work is one of Berlioz's most brilliant pieces, with an
orchestral life and color all its own. The material is taken from his
opera _Benvenuto Cellini_;[235] the checquered career of this artist
having made an irresistible appeal to Berlioz's love of the unusual
and the spectacular. The body of the work is based on the Italian
national dance, the Saltarello; and with this rhythm as a steadying
background Berlioz achieves a continuity sometimes lacking in his
work. The mere thought of the sights, sounds and colors of that
important event in the life of Rome would be enough to inflame his
susceptible imagination, and so here we have Berlioz at his very best.
The overture begins, allegro assai con fuoco, with a partial
announcement of the saltarello theme by the violins and violas, freely
imitated by the wood-wind instruments, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 235: For an entertaining account of the subject matter of
the opera see Chapter VII of Boschot's _Un Romantique sous Louis
Philippe_.]

After a sudden prolonged silence and some crescendo trills the first
periodic melody is introduced, sung by the English horn--the tune
taken from an aria of Benvenuto in the first act. The melody is soon
repeated in the dominant key by the violas and then, treated
canonically, by the 'cellos and violins. The canon really tells and
shows that Berlioz, as is often alleged, was not _altogether_ lacking
in polyphonic skill. The rhythm is now gradually quickened and leads
to the main body of the work, in 6/8 time, based on the Italian
folk-dance--the Saltarello which, as its name implies, is of a
"skipping" nature. The music is freely developed from the two
following themes; there is no second theme proper, _e.g._

[Music: (_a_)]

[Music: (_b_)]

Toward the close there is a return to the introductory melody which is
treated contrapuntally by the bassoons and other wind-instruments. The
saltarello resumes its sway and is worked up to a fiery ending;
especially brilliant are the closing chords scored for full brass with
trills on the cornets.

Two of Berlioz's most poetically conceived descriptive pieces are the
_Menuet des Feux-Follets_ and the _Ballet des Sylphes_, incidental
orchestral numbers from the _Damnation of Faust_; for they illustrate
convincingly what one means by the claim that Berlioz thought in terms
of orchestral color and suggestion. To give a musical picture of such
airy and fantastic imaginings by the mere repetition of conventional
formulae would obviously be of no avail. Berlioz's genius is equal to
the situation; and as we listen to the music we can really see the
flickering of the Will o' the Wisps and feel the graceful swaying of
the Sylphs as they hover about the sleeping Faust. To suggest the
Feux-Follets Berlioz ingeniously gives the theme to two piccolos in
thirds, which are supported by a rich but subdued mass of wind
instruments, horns and trumpets, _e.g._

[Music]

With equal felicity does he create the picture of the delicate,
graceful Sylphs. Any boisterous rhythmic activity would be quite out
of place; and so, above a sustained ground tone on muted 'cellos and
basses (which continues through the piece), and the slightest
suspicion of motion on the second violins and violas, there floats in
the first violins one of the most perfectly rounded and exquisite
melodies in existence, _e.g._

[Music]

In the closing measures there is a charming shadowy dialogue between
kettle-drums (struck with sponge-headed sticks) and harps, in
harmonics, carrying out Berlioz's stage directions--"Les esprits de
l'air se balancent quelque temps autour de Faust endormi et
disparaissent peu à peu." The piece ends with a chord barely whispered
on the clarinets, _pppp_, which, as Hadow aptly suggests, reminds us
of vanishing soap bubbles.

Berlioz's most sustained and perfect work, both in content and
treatment, is universally acknowledged to be the _Harold en Italie_
Symphony[236] in four movements for full orchestra and solo viola.
There is little actual correspondence between the scenes of Byron's
poem and the musical portrayal; and in fact, as Liszt says, "The title
clearly shows that the composer wished to render the impression which
the magnificent nature of Italy could not fail to make on a soul such
as that of Harold languishing in sorrow." The significant features of
the work are the melody for solo viola, recurring[237] in each
movement, which typifies Harold--that "melancholy dreamer," _e.g._,

[Music]

and the dazzling sensationalism of the Finale (Orgy of Brigands)
which, when it was once played "con amore" by a fine orchestra, called
forth from Berlioz the following eulogy,--"Sublime! I thank you,
gentlemen, and I wonder at you; you are perfect brigands." The finale
is also notable in that the opening portion is a reminiscence, a
passing in review, of the chief themes of the preceding movements.
Berlioz, we may surmise, was following the precedent established by
Beethoven in the finale of the _Ninth Symphony_, and, although his
treatment is rather mechanical and lacking in any such dramatic logic
as justified Beethoven, a certain organic connection between the
movements is undoubtedly secured. A portion of the second movement,
_March of Pilgrims_ singing the evening prayer, is cited in the
Supplement (See No. 58) chiefly because it is one of Berlioz's noblest
inspirations, giving an eloquent picture of a procession approaching,
passing by and losing itself in the distance--a long crescendo and
diminuendo. At every eighth measure the March melody is interrupted by
the muffled chant of the pilgrims, very effectively scored for brass
instruments, pianissimo. In the middle of the piece a contrast is
gained by the introduction of a religious chant. The closing measures
of this movement are of haunting beauty--a mysterious effect being
produced by an intentional mixture of tonalities (the sustained B in
the flute and oboe being answered by a C on the horns and harp, while
beneath are heard fragments of the March theme in the main key on the
pizzicato double basses).[238] Berlioz's most pretentious orchestral
composition is that called in the full title "Romeo and Juliet,
dramatic symphony, with choruses, vocal solos, and a prologue in
choral recitative, composed after Shakespeare's tragedy."
Notwithstanding many touches of genius, it is a very uneven work and
is too much a conglomerate of styles--narrative, lyrical, dramatic,
theatric and symphonic--for the constructive ability of the author to
weld into a living whole. There are several portions which, however
noble and glorious may have been Berlioz's conception,[239] and
however inspired by Shakespeare's genius, do not "come off." Two of
the numbers, on the other hand, are worthy of the highest praise--the
_Love Scene_ and the _Queen Mab Scherzo_. Of the latter Saint-Saëns
writes--"The famous Scherzo is worth even more than its reputation. It
is a miracle of lightness and gracefulness. Beside such delicacies and
transparencies the _finesses_ of Mendelssohn in the _Midsummer Night's
Dream_ seem heavy." The main theme is fascinating in its daintiness
and sparkle, _e.g._

[Music]

Berlioz considered the _Love Scene_ his finest inspiration and there
are few pieces comparable with it for passionate utterance. The
orchestration is wonderful for richness and variety.[240]

[Footnote 236: For an extended analysis of the work and also for an
account of the alleged connection of the virtuoso Paganini with its
composition, see the essay in Niecks' _Program Music_. There are, in
addition, interesting comments in _Stories of Symphonic Music_ by
Lawrence Gilman.]

[Footnote 237: An early example of the modern principle of
transformation and transference by theme.]

[Footnote 238: A striking illustration of "association of ideas" may
be gained from a comparison of the end of this movement with the
closing measures of Strauss's _Thus Spake Zarathustra_; it seems
incredible that Strauss did not have Berlioz's effect in his mind.]

[Footnote 239: See the _Mémoires_ for a rhapsodic account of his state
of mind at this time--"basking in the warm rays of Shakespeare's
imagination and believing it in his power to arrive at the marvellous
island where rises the temple of pure Art."]

[Footnote 240: For extended comments and a long citation of the actual
music see the Sixth Volume of the _Oxford History of Music_.]

After a careful study of the foregoing examples the reader, we hope,
is in a position to make a fair estimate of Berlioz's power and to
realize his great significance. It should be understood that this
music is intensely subjective and so requires a sympathetic and
cultivated attitude on the part of the listener. To the writer at
least, there remains one vital lack in Berlioz's music,--that of the
_dissonant element_. It often seems as if his conceptions could not be
fully realized for want of sheer musical equipment, largely due to
insufficient early training. For what is music without dissonance?
Surely "flat, stale and unprofitable" even if, in Berlioz's case, this
deficiency is offset by great rhythmic vitality and gorgeous color.
Yet in his best works[241] there is such a strong note of
individuality, indeed such real character, that they are deserving of
sincere respect and admiration, although by everybody they may not be
deeply loved. We should, furthermore, always remember that, if
Berlioz's poverty of harmonic effect is sometimes annoying, he never
falls into the humdrum ruts of those who have had a stereotyped
academic training. His genius was unhampered by any conventional
harmonic vocabulary, and hence it could always express itself freely.
That he was a real genius no one can fairly doubt.

[Footnote 241: For valuable analytical comments on Berlioz's
orchestral style see Vol. VIII, Chapter X, of the _Art of Music_
(César Saerchinger, N.Y.), and for biographical details and matters of
general import, Vol. II, Chap. IX.]

All the qualities which have been enumerated as typical of the
romantic temperament: warmth of sentiment, broad culture, love of
color and the sensuous side of music, freedom of form, and stress laid
on the orchestra as the most eloquent means of expression, reach their
climax in Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Born near Vienna of a Hungarian
father and a German mother, but chiefly associated with Paris, Weimar,
Budapest and Rome, he is certainly the most picturesque and versatile
figure in the music of the 19th century; for he worked and won fame as
a pianoforte virtuoso--probably the greatest the world has known--as a
prolific composer for pianoforte, orchestra and voice, as a teacher,
conductor and man of letters, and withal spent a large part of his
time, strength and fortune in helping young artists and in producing
works which otherwise might never have seen the light. His life is of
constant and varied interest, so spectacular at times that it seems
like a fairy tale.[242] As a mere boy he began to receive adulation
for his precocity; at the height of his career he was loaded with
honors and wealth; in his old age he was a favorite with everyone of
distinction and influence in France, Germany, England and Italy.
Nevertheless he preserved, throughout, the integrity of his character
and the nobility of his disposition. Whatever may be the final
estimate of his powers as a creative artist, as a man he has earned
nothing but eulogy;[243] for seldom has any one been freer from the
faults of vanity, petty jealousy and envy which so often mar the
artistic temperament. Liszt's generous encouragement and financial
support of Wagner in the struggling days of his unpopularity have
never been surpassed in the brotherhood of art.

[Footnote 242: The best biographies in English are the one by Huneker
and that in Vol. 2 of Grove's Dictionary.]

[Footnote 243: For a lively description of his influence as a
pianoforte teacher see _Music Study in Germany_ by Amy Fay.]

Liszt is akin to Berlioz in many respects; we feel the same natural
tendency to derive musical inspiration from external sources, poetic,
pictorial or from the realm of Nature. Purely as a musician, however,
Liszt was far greater, with a wider vocabulary and more power in
thematic development. His work also is somewhat uneven; moments of
real beauty alternating with passages which are trivial, bombastic or
mere lifeless padding. When we bear in mind Liszt's unparalleled
versatility, his output in quantity and variety is so amazing--there
being well over 1,000 works of about every kind--that it is unfair to
expect the style to be as finely wrought as the original conception is
noble. A serious and unbiased study of his best compositions will
convince one that Liszt is entitled to high rank as a musician of
genuine poetic inspiration. The average music-lover is prone to dwell
upon him as the composer of _Les Préludes_, the _Hungarian
Rhapsodies_, and as the somewhat flashy transcriber of operatic
potpourris, such as the _Rigoletto Fantasie_. But _Les Préludes_,
notwithstanding a certain charm and the clever manner in which the
music (without becoming minutely descriptive) supplements the poem of
Lamartine, is yet barred from the first rank by its mawkishness of
sentiment and by its cloying harmonies. The most significant among the
symphonic poems are _Orpheus_ with its characteristic crescendos and
diminuendos; _Tasso_ of great nobility and pathos, and _Mazeppa_, a
veritable tour de force of descriptive writing. To hear any one of
these masterpieces can not fail to alter the opinion of those who may
have considered Liszt as exclusively given over to sensational
effects. As for the _Hungarian Rhapsodies_, which Liszt intended as a
kind of national ballade and so, for the basic themes and rhythms,
drew largely on Hungarian Folk music, here again the public, with its
fondness for being dazzled, has laid exclusive stress on the flashy
ones to the detriment of those containing much that is noble and of
enduring worth. In his transcriptions of standard songs Liszt did as
valuable a public service as any popularizer, and has thereby made
familiar the melodies of Schubert and Schumann to hundreds who
otherwise would know nothing of them. In considering Liszt's
pianoforte works we must remember that he was a born virtuoso with a
natural fondness for exploiting the possibilities of his instrument,
and with an amazing technique as a performer. When the sincerity of a
composer is in question there is a great difference as to what should
be the standard of judgment, whether the work be for orchestra or for
pianoforte. In writing for orchestra the composer naturally centres
himself on the pure ideas and their treatment, as the execution is
something entirely external to himself. In works for pianoforte,
however, the composer who is also a virtuoso will often, and quite
justifiably, introduce passages of purely pianistic effect which in
other circumstances would amount to a confession of deficient
imagination. That Liszt at times abused his facility in decoration
need not be gainsaid, and yet how poetic and eloquent are his best
pianoforte compositions!--the _Études_, the _Waldesrauschen_, the
_Ballade_ and, above all, the _Sonata in B minor_.[244] Much unjust
criticism has been expended upon Liszt for treating the pianoforte
like an orchestra. As a matter of fact he widened, in a perfectly
legitimate way, the possibilities of the instrument as to sonority,
wealth and variety of color-effect. According to the testimony of
contemporary colleagues, Rubinstein, Taussig and von Bülow who, had
they not been convinced of his supremacy, might well have been
jealous, Liszt was incontestably the greatest interpreter of Bach,
Beethoven and Chopin; and his power as a Beethoven scholar is attested
by the poetically annotated edition of the Sonatas. It is often
asserted that Liszt lacked spontaneous melodic invention. This is a
hard saying unless taken in a relative sense. We may grant that Liszt
was neither a Schubert nor a Mozart, and yet recognize in his works
some extremely haunting melodies. His creative power was acknowledged
by Wagner and in a very practical manner. In fact, after a comparative
study of their works, one is amazed at the number of melodies which
Wagner borrowed from Liszt and at the generous complaisance of the
latter. The reactive influence of Liszt and Wagner, each upon the
other, is an interesting chapter in the development of modern art.
Liszt was undoubtedly encouraged in his revolutionary aims by Wagner's
fiery courage. Wagner, on his side, owed much to Liszt's unselfish
generosity; and with his more powerful constructive gifts worked up
into enduring form motives which, internal evidence clearly shows,
came from Liszt himself.

[Footnote 244: For a most entertaining description of this work see
the Huneker Biography, pp. 64-70.]

Just a few closing words as to Liszt's specific contributions to the
expansion of musical structure. He was an advanced leader in the
"program school," being endowed with considerably more constructive
power than Berlioz, who often fell between two stools: in that while
his subject demanded the freest treatment, he lacked the vigor to
break away from the formal routine of his classic models. In Liszt's
orchestral works, however, the term "Symphonic Poem"--one of his own
invention--is fully justified, _i.e._, they are _symphonic_ in that
they have organic unity, although this is not attained by preserving
the classic number and arrangement of themes; and they are also
_poetic_, being not a presentation of abstract tone patterns, but
illustrative of some external idea which shapes the course of the
music entirely to its own needs.[245] The distinguishing quality of
the Symphonic Poem is its unbroken continuity. Although objective
points are reached, and while there are broad lines of demarcation
with reference to the varied moods of the poem to be illustrated,
there are _no rigid stops_--everything is fused together into a
continuous whole. Liszt was an advocate of persistent development,
_i.e._, the music going out into space like a straight line instead of
returning on itself. Inner evidence shows, however, that although he
avoided many needless and conventional repetitions, he could not
entirely throw overboard the cyclical law of restatement; for there is
not one of his _Symphonic Poems_ which does not repeat, at the end,
thematic material already heard. Liszt carried the principle of theme
transformation still further than Berlioz; and, as a German, tended to
lay stress rather on the psychological aspects of character than on
those outward theatric events which appeal to French taste. The
difference is well shown by a comparison of the _Damnation of Faust_
with Liszt's _Faust_ Symphony, considered his most inspired orchestral
work. Liszt must not be forgotten as a song-writer, especially for his
settings to Goethe's poems; which, as Huneker says, are masterpieces
and contain, in essence, all the dramatic lyricism of modern writers,
Strauss included. In these songs the instrumental part is of special
import; Liszt in pianistic treatment anticipating Hugo Wolf with his
"Songs for Voice and Pianoforte," _i.e._, the voice and the instrument
are treated as coequal factors.

[Footnote 245: For stimulating comments see _The Symphony since
Beethoven_ by Weingartner, pp. 71-86.]

The works of Liszt selected for analytical comment are the Symphonic
Poem _Orpheus_, the _Faust_ Symphony and the Pianoforte Étude,
_Waldesrauschen_. The student, however, should become familiar with
several others[246] of the Symphonic Poems, notably _Tasso_, _Les
Préludes_ and _Mazeppa_; with the Pianoforte Sonata in B minor in one
movement, in which Liszt works on the same plan as Schumann in the
Fourth Symphony; with the descriptive pianoforte pieces and études;
and with the songs, of which _Kennst du das Land_, _Die Lorelei_ and
_Du bist wie eine Blume_ are beautiful examples.

[Footnote 246: An enlightening and comprehensive account of each of
these may be found in Niecks's _Programme Music_ already referred to.
See also Chapter VII, pp. 141-155 in Vol. VI of the _Oxford History_
for what is perhaps a rather biased point of view. There is an
excellent tabulation of the themes from _Les Préludes_ in Mason's
_Romantic Composers_.]


SYMPHONIC POEM, ORPHEUS

In this work, as must always be the case in poetically suggestive
music, the composer trusts to the general intelligence and insight of
the listener. For a mere mention of the name Orpheus may well call up
the vision of a majestic, godlike youth proclaiming his message of joy
and peace to soften the unruly passions of men and animals.

It is said that Liszt's imagination was kindled by a beautiful
representation of Orpheus playing on the lyre, which decorates an
Etruscan vase in the Louvre. The aim of the music was thus to
intensify and supplement the visual effect. The Poem begins with soft,
sustained calls on the horns, creating a mood of expectancy,
interspersed with modulatory arpeggios on the harp serving to complete
the legendary picture. In these Symphonic Poems, we must always
observe how closely the nature of the themes and the whole import of
the music are involved with the orchestral dress. For Liszt, though
not perhaps so brilliant and sensational as Berlioz, was equally a
great master of orchestral coloring and poetic suggestion by means of
appropriate instruments; often, too, more delicate and refined. In
measure 15 begins for sustained strings the stately march which
typifies the gradual approach of Orpheus. The second phrase of the
march, beginning in measure 38, has received the compliment of being
appropriated, almost literally, by Wagner in the second act of the
_Valkyrie_ for the march motive with which Wotan is ushered in. Some
beautiful modulatory developments of the march theme, with which the
original horn calls are united, lead to the impassioned theme in E
major, sung by an English horn, which is the message of Orpheus to the
sons of men, _e.g._

[Music]

The theme is expanded by means of striking modulations until, in
measure 102, it is presented by the full orchestra. Some rather
meaningless repetitions, in detached phrases, of the Orpheus theme
bring us, in measure 130, to a return of the original march which is
finally proclaimed _ff_ with great power and sonority. It seems to
typify the triumphant justification of Orpheus's appearance. The
dissonant modulations in the following passage, beginning measure 155,
(in which the double basses take a dramatic part) have been thought by
some to represent realistically the uncouth roars of forest monsters.
These outcries finally subside and in the Coda, beginning at measure
180, we have first a beautiful reminiscence of Orpheus's message and
then a last announcement of the march theme, which is now presented in
the form of a long diminuendo, as if the God-like apparition were
slowly withdrawing from our sight. A series of shifting modulations
(adagio and pianissimo) seems to bring a cloud before our enraptured
senses, and the work closes with a long sustained chord in C major,
_ppp_, giving an elemental idea of peace and satisfaction. From the
standpoint of musical structure the work is a crescendo followed by a
diminuendo and, poetically considered, is a convincing picture in
terms of music of the effect made upon Liszt's imagination by the
legend of Orpheus. Observe that, although the composition is free in
form, it is _not_ formless.[247] The main lines are the familiar ones
of statement, contrast and restatement, _i.e._, three-part form, and
the key-relationship is clear and carefully planned.

[Footnote 247: An allegation often brought against Liszt's work by
those whose conception of "form" is that of a cast-iron mould.]


THE FAUST SYMPHONY

This work, although embodying Liszt's favorite ideas of dramatic
characterization and transformation of theme as found in the Symphonic
Poems, more nearly resembles the ordinary symphony in that it is in
three distinct movements--with pauses between--which stand,
respectively, for the three chief characters in Goethe's drama: Faust,
Gretchen and Mephistopheles. In the _Faust_ Symphony the principle of
transformation or metamorphosis of themes is of such importance that
it may be defined as their rhythmic, melodic and harmonic modification
for the purpose of changing the meaning to correspond with a
modification in the characters for which they stand. The first
movement sets before us five themes illustrative of the most prominent
traits in the complex nature of Faust; the three most important being
(_a_) typical of brooding, speculative inquiry, (_b_) the longing of
love, (_c_) the enthusiasm and chivalry of Faust, _e.g._

[Music: (_a_)]

[Music: (_b_)]

[Music: (_c_)]

The development of these themes is entirely free, the musical texture
being held together by a general application of the principle of
contrast and by a logical key-scheme. The second movement has two main
themes, _e.g._

[Music: (_a_)]

[Music: (_b_)]

which portray eloquently the sweetness and dreamy ecstacy of
Gretchen's nature. In the course of this portrayal there appear
several themes from the first movement showing, by their
transformation, the effect upon the introspective Faust of the
awakening influence of love. Thus the love theme appears as--

[Music]

and also later in this form--

[Music]

Towards the close of the movement there is a subtle reference to the
chivalrous theme, as follows--

[Music]

Much of the appeal of the music depends upon the orchestration which
throughout is of remarkable beauty.

In the final movement, entitled Mephistopheles, there are a few
independent themes which portray the malign influence of the spirit of
Evil--the movement is marked Allegro vivace ironico!--but most of the
material is a transformation of the Faust themes which are here
burlesqued, parodied; as if all the noble aspirations of Faust were
being mocked and set at naught. This treatment is a perfectly logical
result of the correspondence, for which Liszt was striving, between
the music and the spirit of the underlying drama. As for the final
impressiveness of his artistic message, the composer may well have
felt that the effect would be indefinite without the specific meaning
which words alone can give. For the style is very subjective
throughout; that is, if the hearer is in a responsive condition, an
effect is produced on his imagination--otherwise, not. To close the
work, therefore, in the most moving and dignified manner, Liszt, with
unerring instinct and following the precedent of Beethoven in the
Ninth Symphony, introduces a chorus of men's voices--marked Andante
Mistico--which intones the famous stanza "Alles Vergängliche"[248] at
the close of the second part of Faust; while, above this chorus, a
solo tenor proclaims the motto of the redeeming love of woman, "Das
ewig Weibliche"--a sentiment so dear to the German[249] mind and one
that plays such an important part in the music dramas of Wagner. A
dramatic and musical connection between the movements is established
by using, for this solo part, the melody (intensified by augmentation)
which in the second movement typified the love and charm of Gretchen,
_e.g._

[Music: Das ewig Weibliche]

[Footnote 248: Translated as follows by Bayard Taylor:--

    Chorus Misticus

    All things transitory
    But as symbols are sent;
    Earth's insufficiency
    Here grows to Event;
    The Indescribable,
    Here it is done:
    The Woman-Soul leadeth us
    Upward and on!]

[Footnote 249: The way in which the Germans in the recent war have
applied this doctrine raises, we must say, many searching questions.]

Notwithstanding the ultra sensationalism in some of Liszt's works
there is no doubt that, in the closing pages of Faust, he has produced
an effect of genuine power and of inspired musical beauty.[250]
_Faust_, in fact, may be called a great work because of the character
of its leading melodies, its freedom of structure and expression and
its wealth of appropriate orchestral color. For these merits we may
overlook certain dreary passages where it would surely seem as if the
imagination of the composer were not able to translate into tones all
the phases of Goethe's stupendous drama.[251]

[Footnote 250: That this is the verdict of the public is shown by the
fact that, whenever of late years _Faust_ has been given by the Boston
Symphony Orchestra, it has had to be repeated by popular request.]

[Footnote 251: For further comments on the work see Huneker's _Franz
Liszt_, pp. 141-146 and the third part (on Program Music) of Finck's
_R. Strauss, The Man and His Works_. Also Chap. VII passim in Vol. VI
of the Oxford History.]

In a book such as this, chiefly concerned with broad principles of
structure and style, it would be out of place to attempt a detailed
account of Liszt's numerous and varied pianoforte compositions. But
they can by no means be left out of consideration by anyone who wishes
to gain a comprehensive estimate of his influence. For although the
fundamental principles of pianoforte style, both in writing for the
instrument and in playing upon it, are derived from Chopin and
Schumann,[252] Liszt so amplified the work of these men and added so
many novel features of his own in pianistic effect and especially in
execution that he is rightly considered a genius of the instrument. He
certainly brought out of the pianoforte a sonority and wealth of color
which heretofore had been associated only with the orchestra. The
chief groups of the pianoforte works are (1) the transcriptions of
songs, notably of Schubert and Schumann, and of operas, particularly
of Wagner. In this group should also be included the remarkable
arrangement for solo-pianoforte of all the Beethoven Symphonies. (2)
The Études, especially the set entitled "_Études d'exécution
transcendante_"--a description which clearly shows the idea Liszt set
before himself and indubitably attained; of this set the one in F
minor is particularly fine. (3) The world-famed _Hungarian
Rhapsodies_, fifteen in number, based on national melodies and
rhythms. In these Liszt aspired to be the poet of his nation, and they
are still among the most important manifestations of the national
spirit so prominent in our modern music. Perhaps the most eloquent and
celebrated are the 2d, the 12th and the 14th. Even if at times they
are overencrusted with effects meant primarily for display, the
rhythmic vitality and color of the melodies cannot be withstood.

[Footnote 252: Weber and Schubert had, of course, done valuable
pioneer work.]


CONCERT ÉTUDE, _Waldesrauschen_

(SEE SUPPLEMENT NO. 59)

This composition begins with a swaying, cantabile theme for the left
hand very characteristic of Liszt, which stands out in relief against
some beautifully placed arabesque figures in the upper register of the
instrument--the whole to be played una corda, dolce con grazia. It
really is a poetic picture, in terms of music, of the delicious murmur
of the woods. In the 15th measure the theme is transferred to the
right hand, in octaves, over sonorous, widely extended groups below.
The theme is expanded through a series of striking modulations and
then returns, in measure 30, to the left hand in a single melodic
line. This middle portion, measures 30-50, is very beautiful in its
genuine atmospheric treatment. Towards its close, however, Liszt's
fondness for sensational effect rather runs away with him and there is
a good deal, in measures 50-60 (marked martellato, strepitoso and
_fff_), which is rather difficult to reconcile with the poetic
subject. Perhaps a mighty wind is roaring through the trees! In
measure 61 the theme is once more presented in amplified form by the
right hand, più mosso and molto appassionata, and worked up to a
brilliant climax--ending with an interlocking trill and a long,
descending passage of delightful sensuous effect. The closing
measures, una corda and dolcissimo, afford a reminiscence of the
haunting appeal of the chief melody. All in all, in spite of a certain
admixture of alloy, here is a poetic composition, a real tone-picture
of the woods and of the effects implied by the title. Certainly a
piece which, in its picturesque suggestiveness and pianistic
treatment, may fairly be called the ancestor of much that is beautiful
in such modern composers as Debussy and Ravel.

As a final estimate of Liszt and as a suggestion for the student's
attitude we cite from Niecks the following quotation, since, in our
opinion, it is true and forcibly expressed:

"Liszt's works are too full of originality and striking expressiveness
to deserve permanently the neglect that has been their lot. Be,
however, the ultimate fate of these works what it may, there will
always remain to Liszt the fame of a daring striver, a fruitful
originator and a wide-ranging quickener."




CHAPTER XVI

BRAHMS


After the novel and brilliant work of the Romanticists had reached its
height in the compositions just studied, it seemed as if there were
nothing more for music to do. Wagner, with his special dramatic aims
and gorgeous coloring, loomed so large on the horizon that for a time
all other music was dwarfed. It is, therefore of real significance
that just in this interregnum two men, born in the early years of the
19th century, were quietly laying the foundations for eloquent works
in absolute or symphonic music. These men were Johannes Brahms
(1833-1897) and César Franck (1822-1890). Following a few preliminary
remarks about the significance of symphonic style in general, the next
chapters will be devoted to an account of their works and influence.

A striking feature in the development of music since 1850 is the
number of symphonies produced by the representative composers of the
various nations; and the manner in which these works embody certain
phases of style and manifest national tendencies is a subject of great
interest. Ever since Beethoven, there has been a universal feeling
that the symphony is the form in which a composer should express his
highest thoughts. If Wagner and Richard Strauss seem to be exceptions,
we must remember that their work for orchestra is thoroughly symphonic
both in material and in scope. The difference is chiefly one of terms.
Wagner claimed that he merely applied to dramatic purposes Beethoven's
thematic development; and the tone-poems of Strauss are symphonies in
essence though on a free poetic basis. Every composer has taken up the
writing of a symphony with a serious purpose and often comparatively
late in life. To be sure, Beethoven's first Symphony, op. 21, was
composed in his thirtieth year; but for the works which manifest most
strongly his personality, such as the Third, Fifth and Ninth, we have
to wait until a later period. Schumann essayed symphonic composition
only after his technique had been developed in every other field.
Brahms's first Symphony, on which he is said to have worked ten years,
is op. 68. César Franck looked forward to a Symphony as the climax of
his career. The day has passed when a composer could dash off
symphonies by the dozen; quality and genuine personality in each work
are the modern requirements. Thus from Brahms we have four symphonies,
from Tchaikowsky six, from Bruckner nine--a dangerously large
number!--from Sibelius five, from Elgar two, from d'Indy three; and,
even if a composer write but a single really inspired and noble
symphony--as for example, César Franck--he is in so far immortal. For
the symphonic form is the product of too much intense striving (think
of Beethoven's agonies of conception!) to be treated lightly.
Beginning with the operatic overture of Lully and Scarlatti, called
"Sinfonia avanti l'opera," down through the labors of Stamitz, Gossec,
Emmanuel Bach, Haydn and Mozart, this form, as we know it to-day, is
the result of at least a century and a half of sustained, constructive
work. A musician who wishes to compose a symphony is brought face to
face with the formidable question, "Have I a real message to utter and
the technical skill to present it in communicable form?" There are no
accessory appeals to the other senses in the way of a dramatic story,
scenic effect, dancing and costumes--as in opera--to cloak poverty of
invention and to mollify the judgment of the listener. I grant that
the composition of an original opera is a high achievement, but we
know how many composers have won success in the operatic field from
whom we should never expect a symphony. From comparatively few have we
great works in both forms. Consider, furthermore, how complicated a
tool is the present orchestra, _as_ a tool, to say nothing of the
invention of ideas. Many years of study are required to attain a
certainty of calculation in sonority and _nuance_, and the mere
writing out the score of a symphony requires unremitting toil. We all
pay homage to life: human life in men, women and children, and the
life of nature in animals, birds, trees and flowers. Let us ever
remember that the imagination also has its products and the themes of
a symphony may certainly be considered _its_ children. The public
often seems to have slight idea of the sanctity and mystery of a
musical idea. Composers are considered people with a kind of "knack"
in writing down notes. In reality, a musical idea is as wonderful a
thing as we can conceive--a miracle of life and yet intangible,
ethereal. The composer apparently creates something out of nothing,
pure fancy being wrought into terms of communication. Since the close
of the Romantic period proper, the Symphonic composers of universal
recognition have been Brahms, Franck, Tchaikowsky, d'Indy, Sibelius,
Bruckner, Mahler, Dvo[vr]ák, Elgar, and a few lesser men of the
Russian and French schools. Their works carry still further the
principles which can be traced from Beethoven down through the
Romantic School, _i.e._, the chief themes are of a highly subjective
nature, often in fact being treated like actual characters in a drama;
and great freedom is shown in regard to mood and order of the usual
symphonic movements--this being particularly true of Mahler and
Bruckner. A distinct feature of interest in the work of Tchaikowsky,
Dvo[vr]ák and Sibelius is the introduction of exotic types of melody
and rhythm, drawn from national sources. Thus Tchaikowsky, who said
that he wished all his instrumental music to sound like a glorified
Russian folk-song, uses rhythms of 5 and (in his chamber music) 7
beats a measure, with frequent touches of old modal harmony. Dvo[vr]ák
founds his harmony and modulations on the exceedingly chromatic scale
of the Bohemians; and his piquant and dashing rhythms could come only
from a nation which has no less than forty national dances. In
listening to Sibelius, we are conscious of the wild sweep of the wind,
of unchained forces of nature; and there are the same traits of virile
strength and grim dignity which have made the Kalevala, Finland's
national poem, one of the great epics of the world. Although Brahms
never lets us forget that he is a Teuton, there are frequent traces in
his compositions of the Hungarian element--so dear to all the Viennese
composers--as well as of German folk-songs; and the most artistic
treatment we have of Hungarian rhythms is found in his two sets of
Hungarian dances.

It is manifestly beyond the scope of a single book to treat
comprehensively each of the symphonists in the list just cited, so I
shall dwell chiefly upon the characteristics of Brahms, Franck,
Tchaikowsky and d'Indy as probably the greatest, and touch only
incidentally upon the others, as of somewhat lesser import; though if
anyone take issue with this preference in regard to Mahler and
Bruckner I shall not combat him. For I believe Mahler to be a real
genius; feeling, however, that his wonderful conceptions are sometimes
not expressed in the most convincing manner. There is no doubt that
Mahler has not yet received his bigger part in due valuation, but his
time will surely come. As for Bruckner, we have from him some of the
most elemental and powerful ideas in modern music--witness the dirge
in the _Seventh Symphony_ with its impressive scoring for trombones
and Bayreuth tubas, a movement Beethoven might have signed; although
with the virgin gold there is mixed, it must be confessed, a large
amount of crude alloy, and there are dreary stretches of waste sand.

Johannes Brahms, like Beethoven, with whom his style has many
affinities, was a North-German, born in 1833 in the historic seaport
town of Hamburg.[253] Brahms came of lowly though respectable and
intelligent parents, his father being a double-bass player in one of
the theatre orchestras. That the positiveness of character, so
conspicuous in his famous son, was an inherited trait may be seen from
the following anecdote. The director of the theatre orchestra once
asked father Brahms not to play so loud; whereupon he replied with
dignity, "Herr Kapellmeister, this is my double-bass, I want you to
understand, and I shall play it as loud as I please." The music of
Brahms in its bracing vigor has been appropriately compared to a
mixture of sea air and the timbre of this instrument.

[Footnote 253: Noted as being the original centre of national German
opera and for its associations with the early career of Handel.]

Brahms's mother was a deeply religious woman who imbued her son with a
seriousness of purpose which runs through all his work. From his
earliest years he was trained for music, as a matter of course, and
showed marked precocity as a pianist, though it soon became evident
that he also was endowed with rare creative gifts. The young student
made such progress under Marxsen, a famous teacher of the period, that
at the age of fifteen he gave a public concert, on the program of
which stood some original pieces of his own. The next few years were
spent in diligent study and in the composition of some of his early
works, of which the Scherzo op. 4 is the most significant. Brahms was
extraordinarily precocious and during these formative years manifested
a trait which is noticeable throughout his career--that of knowing
exactly what end he had in view and of setting to work quickly and
steadily to attain it. Finally in 1853, when he was twenty, he was
invited to participate in the memorable concert-tour with the
Hungarian Violinist Remenyi, which was the cause of his being brought
before the public under the auspices of three such sponsors as
Schumann, Liszt and Joachim. It seems that, at one of the concerts in
a small town, the pianoforte was a semitone too low, whereupon young
Brahms transposed at sight a difficult Beethoven Sonata into the
requisite higher key. This remarkable feat of musicianship so
impressed Joachim, who was in the audience, that he gave Brahms two
letters of introduction--one to Liszt at Weimar and one to Schumann at
Düsseldorf on the Rhine. Following up these letters, Brahms now spent
six weeks at Weimar with Liszt, assimilating important points of
method and style. Although the two natures were somewhat
unsympathetic, Liszt was so impressed with the creative power and
character of Brahms's first compositions, that he tried to adopt him
as an adherent of the advanced school of modern music; while Brahms
was led, as some would claim, through Liszt's influence to an
appreciation of the artistic effects to be found in Hungarian music.
Brahms's visit to Schumann in the autumn of 1853 was in its
consequences a significant incident. After hearing Brahms's music,
Schumann wrote for the "Neue Zeitschrift" an article entitled "Neue
Bahnen" ("New Paths") in which the young composer was heralded as the
master for whom the world had been waiting, the successor of Beethoven
in the symphonic style. Through Schumann's influence, the publishers
Breitkopf and Härtel at once brought out Brahms's first works, which
were by no means received by the public with general favor; in fact
they provoked as bitter discussion as those of Wagner, and made
headway slowly. For four years--from 1854 to 1858--Brahms was in the
service of the Prince of Lippe-Detmold, a small principality near
Hanover, where the court was a quiet one, thus affording ample time
for composition and private study. Brahms's strength of purpose and
unusual power of self-criticism are shown by the way in which this
period was spent. Although he had made a brilliant début, Brahms now
imposed upon himself a course of rigorous technical training, appeared
seldom before the public and published no compositions; his object
being to free himself from a narrow subjectivity and to give scope to
his wide human sympathies and to his passion for perfection of
utterance. It seemed to him that a plausible originality might
degenerate into mere idiosyncrasy, and that universality of appeal
should be a musician's highest goal. When he resigned his post and
came before the public with his first large work, a concerto for
pianoforte and orchestra, the gain made in increased power and
resources was evident. The greatest tribute which can be paid Brahms
is that he has summed up and united the classic principles of
clearness and solidity of workmanship with the warmth and spontaneity
of the Romantic School. In 1862 Brahms settled in Vienna where, for
thirty-five years, his career was entirely free from external
incidents of note; his time spent in quiet steady work and in the
attainment of artistic ideals. His slow logical development is like
that of Beethoven, due to the fact that his works were far from
numerous, but finished with the greatest care. The standard of
creative quality is also very high; comparatively few of Brahms's
works are not altogether alive. Matthew Arnold's beautiful lines on
labor are applicable to Brahms. "Work which in lasting fruit outgrows
far noisier schemes; accomplished in repose; too great for haste; too
high for rivalry." Brahms thus described to Mr. Henschel, a former
conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, his ideals concerning
composing: "There is no real creating without hard work; that which
you call invention is simply an inspiration from above, for which I am
not responsible, which is no merit of mine." And again, "Whether a
composition is beautiful is one consideration, but perfect it must
be." The few of his compositions which show connection with outward
events are the _Deutsches Requiem_, his best-known choral work (in
commemoration of his mother's death) and the _Academic Overture_,
composed in place of the conventional thesis, when--in 1880--the
University of Breslau conferred on him a doctor's degree. This
Overture, based on several convivial student songs, is on the whole
his most genial composition for orchestra and has won a deserved
popularity the world over.[254] For sustained fancy his most beautiful
work for chorus and orchestra is the _Schicksalslied_ (_Song of
Destiny_). Symphonic composition, as has been said, came in the latter
part of Brahms's career, his first work in that form being op. 68.
After that, within a few years, three other symphonies were composed.
His last works include the significant pianoforte pieces called
_Intermezzi_--not all equally inspired, but many representing the
finest flower of Brahms's genius; four serious songs for bass voice,
and one posthumous work, _Eleven Choral Preludes for Organ_. Brahms
died in 1897 and lies buried in Vienna not far from Beethoven and
Schubert.

[Footnote 254: Another very fine work in this class is the _Tragic
Overture_, worthy of the deepest study.]

From Brahms we have beautiful works in every branch of composition
save the opera and symphonic poem. (He once said he would risk neither
an opera nor getting married!) Very few of his works have titles, and
in this respect he stood somewhat aloof from that strong tendency in
modern times--the connection between music and poetic and literary
sources of inspiration. But he had a right to choose his own line of
effort; it is for us to become familiar with his works as they are.
They comprise about two hundred songs, three pianoforte sonatas and
many lesser pieces, two concertos for pianoforte and orchestra, a
wonderfully fine violin concerto, four symphonies--each with a
character of its own--and a large group of chamber compositions:
string quartets, sonatas for violin and pianoforte, trios, and a
number of works for unusual ensemble combinations--the Trio for
Violin, Horn and Pianoforte being the best known.

As to the nature of Brahms's music the following comments are
submitted for consideration. He was not a colorist or a stylist in the
broad sense of those terms, _i.e._, color and style were not the prime
ingredients in his music. There is light and shade in Brahms but
seldom that rich and varied glow found, for example, in
Rimsky-Korsakoff--that supreme master of orchestral coloring. As for
style, it may be said that his work fulfils Matthew Arnold's
definition of that desirable quality, "To have something to say and to
say it in the most simple and direct manner possible." We sometimes
feel, however, that he is thinking more of what he has to say than of
outward eloquence of expression. But when there are so many
composers[255] in whom there is far more style than substance, we
should not carp at Brahms for the "stuff" in his work. The matter
might be put in a nut-shell by saying that Brahms is Brahms; you
accept him or leave him, as you see fit. The bulk of his music not
only has stood the test of time but becomes more potent each year;
surely this is the highest possible endorsement. He is rightly
considered a great master of pure melodic line and a consummate
architect, especially in the conciseness and concentration of certain
compositions, _e.g._, the Third Symphony, and in his superb mastery of
the Variation form which is the basis of some of his most famous works
for orchestra and for pianoforte. His texture is of marked richness
and variety; seldom do we find verbiage or lifeless padding. He has
been called the Browning of music--a deep thinker in tones. Genuine
appreciation of Brahms presupposes work on the part of the
music-lover; and the recognition should be more general that the
imaginative stimulation gained only through work is one of the
blessings music has to bestow.

[Footnote 255: We cite Saint-Saëns, as one instance.]

It is often alleged, indeed, that to enjoy Brahms one _has_ to work.
Of course, but what repaying work! This may be said equally of
Shakespeare, of Dante, of Browning, of Bach and of every poet with a
serious message. The vitality of Brahms's creative power, like that of
Beethoven, is seen in his rhythm. He had a highly developed rhythmic
sense, and in his fondness for syncopations, for contrasted accents
and for complicated metric groups he is the logical successor of
Schumann. One of his favorite devices is the altered grouping of the
notes in a measure, so that there is a contrast between duple and
triple rhythm, _e.g._, the following passage in the Second Symphony,
where an effect of great vigor is produced.

[Music]

There are never in Brahms weak or conventional rhythms. He is also one
of the great modern song-composers, representing with Strauss, Wolf
and Mahler the culmination of the German Lied. In his songs there is a
warmth and depth of sentiment as yet unsurpassed, and the
accompaniment is always a highly wrought factor in the work. In
estimating the value of Brahms's compositions as a whole, it is
difficult to hold the balance true. Those to whom he is sympathetic
through an affinity of temperament revere him as one of the great
geniuses for all time, while to others his message is not of such
convincing power. The effect of inborn temperament in the personal
appeal made by any composer is vividly shown by the estimate which
Tchaikowsky and Brahms had for one another. Each felt respect for the
sincerity and artistic skill of his contemporary, at the same time
regretfully acknowledging that the essence of the music meant little
to him. To Tchaikowsky Brahms seemed cold and lacking in melodic
spontaneity; to Brahms, on the other hand, Tchaikowsky seemed
superficial, sensational. The gist of the matter is that Brahms was a
Teuton and wrote with characteristic Teutonic reserve and dignity.
Tchaikowsky, being a Slav, wrote with the impassioned lack of
restraint and volatility of mood associated with that people. How
could it be otherwise? Each was a genuine artist, expressing his
natural feelings with clearness and conviction; and each should be
respected for what he did: _not_ one at the expense of the other. In
Brahms, however, the question does arise of facility of expression
versus worthiness of expression. He had an unparalleled technique in
the manipulation of notes but whether there was always an emotional
impulse behind what he wrote is debatable. For there are these two
contrasting types in every art: works which come from the heart
(remember Beethoven's significant inscription at the end of his
Mass),[256] and those which come from the head. This brings us face to
face with the perplexing question as to the essence of music. To some
it is a record of intellectual activity tinged with emotion; to
others, an emotional outpouring controlled by intellect. These two
types of music will always exist, being the natural expression of the
corresponding classes in human nature.

[Footnote 256: "From the heart it has come, to the heart it shall
go."]

Brahms's music is sometimes called dry, but this is a misuse of terms.
To draw an analogy from another sense, we might rejoin that the best
champagne is "sec," all the superfluous, cloying sugar being removed.
There is plenty of saccharine music in the world for those who like
it. In Brahms, however, we find a potential energy and a manly
tenderness which cannot be ignored even by those who are not
profoundly thrilled by his message. He was a sincere idealist and
composed to please his own high standards, never thinking of outward
effect nor testing the pulse of the fickle public. As a man there is
no doubt that he was warm-hearted and vigorous, but his was not the
nature to come forward with captivating geniality. On the contrary he
expects the hearer to come to him, and is too reserved to meet you
more than half-way. That this austerity has proved a bar in the way of
a wide-spread fame, while to be regretted, is unavoidable; remove
these characteristics from Brahms and he ceases to be Brahms. Those,
however, who may think that Brahms is always austere and grim, holding
himself aloof from broad human emotion, should remember that he has
done more than any other modern composer to idealize the Waltz; and,
if the atmosphere of his symphonic style be too rarified, they may
well begin their effort in appreciation with those charming Waltzes
op. 39 (both for solo pianoforte and for a four-hand arrangement); the
_Hungarian Dances_, and--most beautiful of all--the _Liebeslieder
Walzer_ for chorus and pianoforte (four-hands). Anyone who knows these
works cannot fail to become a genuine lover of Brahms. To be of the
earth and yet to strike the note of sublimity is a paradox. For, in
Brahms at his best, we surely find more of the sublime, of true
exalted aspiration, than in any other modern composer save César
Franck. To strike this note of sublimity is the highest achievement of
music--its proper function; a return, as it were, to the abode whence
it came. Such music is far beyond that which is merely sensuous,
brilliantly descriptive, or even dramatically characteristic. Much of
present day music excites and thrills but does not exalt. Brahms, in
his great moments, lifts us high above the earth. His universal
acceptance is alike hindered by a deficiency which, though as natural
as his reserve, may yet justly be cited against him--the occasional
monotony of his color scheme. In the symphonies, notwithstanding the
dignity and sincerity of thought, we find pages in the style of an
engraving which would be more effective as a glowing canvas, _e.g._,
in the slow movement of the Second Symphony and in the last two
movements of the Fourth. Many consider, however, that Brahms's
orchestral treatment is exactly suited to the seriousness of his
ideas; so it comes down to a question of individual taste. That he had
his own delicate feeling for color and sensuous effect is shown in
many pages of the chamber music, especially in those works for unusual
combinations, _e.g._, the Clarinet Quintet, and the Trio for Violin,
Horn and Pianoforte. No one in modern times has used more eloquently
that romantic instrument, the horn. See, for example, the Coda to the
first movement of the D major Symphony and the slow movement of the
Third Symphony. We must gratefully acknowledge the lasting quality of
his music--without question it wears well. In fact, difficult though
it be to comprehend at a first hearing, the more it is heard, the more
it is enjoyed. Brahms's[257] music is steadily growing in popularity.
His orchestral works and chamber music are applauded to-day, although
twenty-five years ago they were received with apathy and scornful
indifference.

[Footnote 257: For literature on Brahms the following works are
recommended: the comprehensive _Life_ by Fuller-Maitland; the essay in
Hadow's _Studies in Modern Music_; that in Mason's _From Grieg to
Brahms_; that by Spitta in _Studies in Music_ by Robin Grey; the first
essay in _Mezzotints in Modern Music_ by Huneker; the biographical and
critical article in Grove's Dictionary; Chapter IX in Volume 8 of the
_Art of Music_, and Chapter XIII in Volume 2. There are also some
stimulating remarks on Brahms's style in general, and on the attitude
of a past generation towards his work, in those delightful essays, in
2 volumes, _By the Way, About Music_ by the late well-known critic,
W.F. Apthorp.]

As a representative work in each of the four fields in which Brahms
created such masterpieces we have selected, for detailed analysis, the
_First Symphony_, the _Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte in A major_,
the _Ballade in G minor_ and the _Song_, _Meine Liebe ist grün wie der
Fliederbusch_. All four of Brahms's symphonies may justly be
considered great, each in its own way. For Brahms is not a man with a
single message and has not written one large symphony in different
sections, as, in a broad sense, may be said of Tchaikowsky. The
Second, on account of the spontaneity and direct appeal of its themes,
is undoubtedly the most popular. It contains a first movement of a
quasi-Mendelssohnian suavity and lyric charm; a slow movement which is
a meditation of the profundity of Bach himself; a third movement,
allegretto, based on a delightful waltz of the Viennese Ländler type
and a Finale of a Mozartian freshness and vigor--the second theme
being specially notable for its broad sweep. The whole work is a
convincing example of Brahms's vitality and "joie de vivre." The Third
symphony is a marvel of conciseness and virile life. The Fourth,
though not in all respects so inspired as the others, is famous for
its beautiful slow movement--with an impressive introduction in the
Phrygian mode (Brahms often showing a marked fondness for old modal
harmony)--and for the Finale, which is an illustration of his
polyphonic skill in modernizing the variation form, the Passacaglia or
ground bass. But the First,[258] it seems to us, is the greatest, in
scope, in wealth of material, in its remarkable combination of
dramatic, epic and lyric elements and in an intensity of feeling and
sublimity of thought peculiar to Brahms. It is extremely subjective,
of deep ethical value, and sets forth a message of optimism and
undying hope. The structural basis is a motto, often recurring in the
work, which (whatever it may mean) is evidently--like the theme of the
C minor symphony--some fierce protest against fate. The symphony, as a
whole, represents a triumphant progress from darkness to light; and
this meaning is made evident by the ever-brightening mood of the
successive movements, the tone of which is strengthened by the scheme
of key-relationship--based on an ascending series of major thirds,
_e.g._

[Music: C Minor, E major, A-flat major, C major.]

[Footnote 258: The eloquence of the work is so integrally involved
with its orchestral dress that it should always be studied, if
possible, in the full score. For class-room work excellent editions
are available for two and four hands.]

The work is somewhat uneven--never weak--but at times a bit labored;
as if the composer were consciously wrestling with great thoughts.
This, however, is nothing against it, because equally true of large
works in other fields of art, _e.g._, the Agamemnon of Aeschylus or
Wagner's Tetralogy. It cannot be understood, much less appreciated,
without close attention and earnest thought, for it presents the
struggles and aspirations of mankind and is not meant solely to
delight or entertain. When the hearer has made it his own it is a
priceless possession for all time. The Prelude to the first movement,
un poco sostenuto, is of impressive solemnity, developed from the
motto, and based on the almost persistent iteration of the pedal notes
C and G--the tonic and dominant. It proclaims that a serious meaning
is to be revealed, and this meaning is accentuated by the
orchestration which with its stratified grouping of melodic lines has
a grim strength characteristic of Brahms.

[Music]

The first movement proper, Allegro, in complete sonata-form, begins
with a _ff_ announcement of the impassioned, chromatic motto, _e.g._

[Music]

Note the cutting effect of the dissonant tones F-sharp and A-flat!
From this motto grows the melodic part of the first theme in two
balancing phrases, _e.g._

[Music]

Then follow some stormy measures of dissonant chords and warring
rhythms until the theme rages itself out, in measure 52. The
transition begins with some sharp staccato chords, as if summoning to
further attention. It gradually cools down through a series of
beautiful modulations and, in measure 84, the second theme--introduced
by calls on the horn and sung by the oboe--enters in the relative
major key of E-flat. This also is based on the ascending, chromatic
line of the _motto_; still further organic unity being gained by the
bass, which has the same melodic figure as the second phrase of the
first theme, _e.g._

[Music]

Much of the previous fierceness, however, has abated and the remainder
of the second theme is of a rare loveliness, with mysterious answering
calls between oboes, clarinets and horns. The _pp_ dominant ninth
chords at the beginning of the closing portion (measures 120-122) give
a positively shuddering effect and then the combat of clashing rhythms
is renewed. The development begins with a series of shifting
harmonies, at first _ff_ and then _pp_--a lull before the storm--as if
preparing the way for a still more terrific assault upon our emotions.
It is tempestuous throughout; based at first on material taken from
the preceding codetta and ending with an extended presentation of the
motto over an iterated pedal note on the dominant, _e.g._

[Music]

The fusion of the development with the recapitulation is skillfully
handled, and the motto is proclaimed, beginning at measure 298, in a
series of ascending strata, with overwhelming force. The third part,
with slight abridgment and necessary adjustment of key-relationship,
conforms exactly to the exposition. There is the same agitato closing
portion as before, and then the Coda proper, beginning at measure 421,
emphasizes with fiery accents the mood of storm and stress
characteristic of the movement as a whole. After the fury has
subsided, the dramatic motto asserts itself in the closing measures,
poco sostenuto; the problem is still unsolved and the last C major
chord is but a ray of light cast on troubled waters.

The second movement, andante sostenuto--in three-part form--begins
with a tender melody expressing a mood of deep resignation and
religious hope. No sooner has it started, however, than there creeps
in the sinister motto, as if to remind us that life is undeniably
stern and grim, _e.g._

[Music]

In measure 17 there enters a closing theme, sung by the oboe, of
ineffable beauty which is used in the third part as the climax of the
movement. It surely seems to come from another world and is one of the
most sublime melodies by Brahms or any one else. Its climax is
impressively united with the main theme in the bass, _e.g._

[Music]

The middle portion, beginning in measure 38, is a meditation--in
dialogue form--for solo oboe and clarinet, worked up to an eloquent
climax in the key of the relative minor, C-sharp. The third part,
beginning measure 66, with the addition of some lovely modulatory
changes, corresponds to part one; save that the melody is varied by
Brahms's favorite device of three notes to a beat in one voice against
two in another. Beginning in measure 90, the wondrous closing theme of
the first part is sung by a solo violin, reinforced by oboe and horn.
It is finally entrusted, in the home key, to the horn alone, above
which the solo violin soars in ecstacy, _e.g._

[Music]

Some diminuendo, descending passages lead to a reminiscent portion of
the first theme and then, in measure 116, the grim motto enters, but
this time without prevailing; for, in measures 122-124, it is finally
exorcised and the movement closes with the seraphic calm of a soft,
rich chord in E major, above which is heard a star-like note on the
solo violin.

The third movement is an Allegretto; it being Brahms's custom in
each[259] of his symphonies to substitute a movement of this type in
place of the conventional Scherzo or Minuet. This movement clearly in
three-part form, is thrown in to furnish relief after the emotional
tension of the movement preceding. It has no obvious organic
connection with the other movements, but is just the right thing in
its surroundings, with a note of vitality which does much to brighten
the scene and to prepare the way for the Finale. The opening theme in
A-flat major is in two phrases of _five_ measures each--a favorite
rhythm with Brahms--given out by the clarinet over a pizzicato bass in
the 'cellos. The melodic formation is unusual in that the latter
phrase is an inversion of the first, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 259: The only slight exception is the third movement of the
Fourth Symphony which, being marked Allegro giocoso, partakes somewhat
of the nature of a Scherzo.]

After some descending passages in thirds and sixths--one of the
characteristic[260] effects in Brahms's style--the theme is repeated
in the violins with richer scoring. The descending passage returns and
this time leads to the entrance of a subsidiary theme in F minor. In
measures 50-51 occurs one of those cases of melodic germination which
entitles Brahms to be called a genuine _creative_ artist. The melody
with its dashing, Hungarian zest sounds like something brand-new and
yet is logically derived from the main theme by diminution, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 260: "Those eternal sixths and thirds." Weingartner later
publicly recanted and became a whole-souled convert to Brahms. (See
_The Symphony since Beethoven_, latest edition.)]

This is real poetic creation, it being the prime object of a poet to
create in music something out of apparent nothing. After these
vivacious developments the first part ends with a slight repetition
of the main theme. The middle part, beginning measure 71, in 6/8 time
and in the enharmonic key of B major (E-flat = D-sharp) is noteworthy
for its rhythmic swing, bold syncopations and contrasted accents; see
especially measures 97-107. At the beginning of the third part there
is an effective blending of the rhythm which has just prevailed with
the graceful lines of the first theme. The fabric is made up of
effective changes, modulatory and rhythmic, in the material from the
first part. At the Coda, più tranquillo, there is a delightful
reminiscence of the rhythm of the middle portion carried out to the
very end by the double basses.[261]

[Footnote 261: A similar effect may be found in the closing measures
of the first movement of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony.]

The Finale is one of the most thrilling perorations in music; not a
perfunctory close, but a veritable Apotheosis of victorious
aspiration, giving an irresistible contrast to the first movement.
Whereas, before, there was nothing but conflict, now all is triumphant
joy. This movement is laid out on a vast scale, with a wealth of
material, including a long Prelude with a distinct theme of its own
and an extended Coda. The body of the movement is in abridged sonata
form, _i.e._, there is a complete Exposition with first, second and
closing themes, and the usual Recapitulation, but _no_ Development
proper. This lack is made good by considerable variation and expansion
in the first part of the Résumé. The Prelude begins Adagio with some
strains which, like smouldering embers, remind us of the sinister
motto of the first movement--note the same dissonant tones A-flat and
F-sharp. The following measures are of indefinite nature, beginning
piano and pizzicato as if a great body were gathering headway slowly.
The pace gradually quickens and we are led through a series of
impetuous stringendo runs to a _ff_ chord which, accompanied by a _ff_
roll on the kettle-drums, sounds like a clap of thunder and which, as
the reverberations die away, ushers in a most moving theme[262]--given
out forte and sempre passionato on the horn over a _pp_ muted tremolo
on the strings with a background of _pp_ trombones, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 262: There is a striking analogy between the intervals of
this theme and those of a well-known peal in a cathedral chime, _e.g._

[Music]

In both the same elemental effect is produced by using the natural
tones of the harmonic series (see page 193).]

This inspired passage[263] has been eloquently described by W.F.
Apthorp as follows:

"Amid hushed, tremulous harmonies in the strings, the horn and
afterward the flute pour forth an utterly original melody, the
character of which ranges from passionate pleading to a sort of wild
exultation according to the instrument that plays it. The coloring is
enriched by the solemn tones of the trombones, which appear for the
first time in this movement. It is ticklish work trying to dive down
into a composer's brain, and surmise what special outside source his
inspiration may have had; but one cannot help feeling that this whole
wonderful episode may have been suggested to Brahms by the tones of
the Alpine horn, as it awakens the echoes from mountain after mountain
on some of the high passes in the Bernese Oberland. This is certainly
what the episode recalls to any one who has ever heard those poetic
tones and their echoes. A short, solemn, even ecclesiastical
interruption by the trombones and bassoons is of more thematic
importance. As the horn-tones gradually die away, and the cloud-like
harmonies in the strings sink lower and lower--like mist veiling the
landscape--an impressive pause ushers in the Allegro."

[Footnote 263: See also a similar eulogy by Weingartner in his _The
Symphony since Beethoven_.]

After the flute has repeated this theme there is an interpolation of
an important choral-like phrase (referred to above), _e.g._

[Music]

for it is later used as the climax of the Finale--in fact, of the
whole work--and its tone of religious fervor, accentuated by the
scoring for trombones and bassoons, is a clear indication of the ideal
message which Brahms meant to convey. The body of the movement,
Allegro non troppo ma con brio, begins with a majestic, sweeping
theme[264] of great rhythmic vitality and elasticity announced by the
strings, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 264: There is a statement in many books that this is a
reminiscence of the theme in the Finale of the Ninth Symphony. How
such a legend started it is difficult to say; it must be due to what
the late W.F. Apthorp called "purblind criticism." For my part I see a
resemblance in only one measure--save that both melodies are in
quadruple rhythm--between the theme of Brahms and the following:--

[Music]]

It is at once repeated with richer scoring and then some exciting
transitional passages lead, after a slight phrase taken from the chief
theme of the prelude, to the second theme, animato, in G major, _e.g._

[Music]

This has some rhythmical expansion and then a quieter part, dolce e
piano, beginning measure 71. Some rushing _ff_ passages bring us, in
measure 107, to the brilliant closing theme with its staccato, triplet
rhythm. The Exposition ends in E minor, in measure 122, after a series
of forte, staccato chords. The Recapitulation begins at once after two
modulatory chords, and though sufficient stress is laid on the _first
theme_, there is so much development of previous material that it
serves for both the customary second and third parts. A good deal of
adverse criticism has been expended on this portion of the movement
and it is possible that Brahms's remarkable technique in handling his
material ran away with him. But the music is always striving toward
some goal, and even if it has to plough through desperate seas, there
is no weakness or faltering. This part of the work is not beautiful in
the popular sense of the term, but no one can fail to be impressed
with its character. A climax is finally reached, in measure 224, with
a fortissimo statement of the chief theme of the prelude, and then,
after this has cooled down, diminuendo e calando, the second theme
enters in the home key. The rest of the recapitulation corresponds
closely with the exposition. The Coda begins, in measure 306, with a
shadowy outline of modulatory chords, as if slumbering forces were
slowly awakening; and, becoming more crescendo and stringendo, reveals
its full glory at the Più Allegro. This portion, based on quickened
phrases of the first theme, seems charged with superhuman energy, and
mounting higher and higher culminates in a majestic proclamation of
the choral-like motto of the prelude, _e.g._

[Music]

On hearing this it always seems as if the heavens above us really
opened. The rest of the Coda is a scene of jubilation with ever more
life and light. The dissonant tones of F-sharp and A-flat try to lift
their heads but this time are crushed forever by the triumphant
fundamental chords of C major, _e.g._

[Music]

The movement, in keeping with its serious message, ends with a
prolonged and brilliant Plagal Cadence in which the double basses and
the trombone surge upward with elemental power.


SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND PIANOFORTE

Of Brahms's three Sonatas for violin and pianoforte, respectively, in
D minor, A major and G major, that in A major has been selected to
give some idea of his chamber music, on account of the spontaneous
appeal of its melodies and because its performance is possible for
fairly well equipped executants. In many respects the D minor Sonata
is the greatest of the three, but it is a work exceedingly difficult
of execution and interpretation. The A major Sonata needs few
comments, as the music speaks for itself. The work is in three
movements, the first in complete sonata-form with the two customary
themes, each of distinct lyric charm and hence eminently suited to the
singing qualities of the violin; the second movement a fusion of the
two normal middle ones, and the Finale a Rondo, freely treated. The
first movement, Allegro amabile, begins with a suave theme, _e.g._,

[Music]

the first interval of which, a descending leap from the third to the
leading tone, always seems to make a distinct appeal.[265] After the
customary transition appears the second theme, announced by the
pianoforte in measure 50, _e.g._,

[Music]

showing Brahms's fondness for contrasted rhythms--three notes to a
beat in one hand against two in the other. After a repetition by the
violin there is a spirited closing theme in measure 75, of great
importance later. The Development, one of Brahms's best, manifests
real organic growth; there is nothing labored or perfunctory. It is
based on the first theme and the closing theme of the Exposition,
_e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 265: It is used at the beginning of three other well-known
melodies, _e.g._, the slow movement of Beethoven's _Ninth Symphony_,
in the middle part of Schumann's _Aufschwung_ and in the first phrase
of Wagner's _Preislied_.]

The Reprise beginning in measure 158, shows the usual treatment. The
Coda, from measure 219, is long and, like codas of Beethoven, has
features of a second development. The movement ends with brilliant
arpeggios in the pianoforte against octaves and double stops in the
violin. In the second movement, Andante tranquillo, in F major, Brahms
fuses[266] together the moods usually associated with the slow
movement and the scherzo, playing one off against the other; the slow
theme appearing three times--at its final appearance with eloquent
modulations--and the rapid one twice, with contrast gained the second
time through pizzicato effects on the violin. The two themes are as
follows:--

[Music]

[Music]

[Footnote 266: This practice he has adopted in several other works and
it is also the structural feature in the slow movement of César
Franck's D minor Symphony.]

The short, dashing Coda is based on the vivace theme, with sonorous
chords on the violin, both pizzicato and arco.

The Finale, Allegretto grazioso, is a convincing example of how such
a rigid form as the Older Rondo can be freshened up and revitalized by
the hand of a master, for the main theme, _e.g._

[Music]

has such genuine melodic life that we always recur to it with pleasure
and yet at each appearance it is so deftly varied that no monotony is
felt. The two episodes afford stimulating contrasts and need no
comment. The main theme at its third appearance is in the subdominant
key, with effective rhythmic modifications. The movement is a
remarkable illustration of idiomatic style for each of the
instruments: the violin part, sustained and cantabile; the pianoforte
part, broken up and of remarkable color and sonority. The last page of
the Coda, almost exclusively in double stops for the violin, brings a
rousing close to a masterpiece.


BALLADE IN G MINOR FOR PIANOFORTE

(SEE SUPPLEMENT NO. 60)

Although the most important factor in Brahms's pianoforte pieces is
Brahms himself, a careful examination of his works in this field shows
that his style is fashioned from an intelligent, and by no means
slavish assimilation of important features in the works of his great
predecessors. Thus we find the same melodic warmth as in Schubert, the
rhythmic vitality and massive harmony so prominent in Schumann and the
extended arpeggios and chords, the color and richness, peculiar to
Chopin. From among the numerous and beautiful compositions of Brahms
for solo pianoforte we have selected the Ballade in G minor because it
represents a somewhat unusual and hence seldom recognized side of his
genius--the specifically dramatic. When a composer calls his piece a
Ballade, as in the case of compositions so entitled by Chopin and
Liszt, we may assume that there is some dramatic or subjective meaning
behind the notes; and the hearer is at liberty to give play to his own
imagination and to receive the message as something more than music in
the ordinary abstract or absolute sense. From the inner evidence of
this Ballade of Brahms it seems to the writer[267] not too fanciful to
consider it a picture of a knight-errant in medieval times setting out
on his adventures. Observe the vigorous swing of the opening theme in
that five-measure rhythm so dear to Brahms. But in the middle portion,
in the romantic key of B major,[268] the woman appears--perhaps some
maiden imprisoned in a tower--and she sings to the knight a song of
such sweetness that he would fain forsake duty, battle, everything!
The contrast of opposing wills[269] is dramatically indicated by an
interpolation, after the maiden's first appeal, of the martial theme
of the knight, as if he felt he should be off instead of lingering,
enchanted by her song. Notwithstanding a still more impassioned
repetition of the song, the Knight is firm, tears himself away and
continues on his course; how great the wrench, being clearly indicated
by the unusual modulations in measures 72-76. The enchanting song,
however, still lingers with him and he dwells with fond regret upon
bygone scenes and dreams which were unattainable. In this piece is
seen Brahms's aristocratic distinction in the treatment of program
music. The subject is portrayed broadly--there are no petty
details--and the music itself, to anyone with a sensitive imagination,
tells the story clearly. Hence a detailed poetic interpretation is out
of place, since only to the suggester would it have meaning.

[Footnote 267: It is to be understood that this is a purely personal
interpretation and if any one wishes to consider the piece merely as
absolute music with a strong masculine theme in the minor, a lyric
melody in the major for the natural contrast, and a coda referring in
a general way to the first theme, there is no way to disprove the
contention. That Brahms, however, was not entirely averse to out and
out programmistic treatment is seen from his two pieces on specific
poetic texts, _i.e._, the first number in op. 10 on the _Scottish
Ballads of Edward_ and the _Lullaby_ in op. 117 on the Scottish
Folk-song _Sleep Soft, My Child_.]

[Footnote 268: The same key that Wagner uses for the end of _Tristan
and Isolde_ and César Franck for the gorgeous Finale of the _Prelude,
Chorale and Fugue_.]

[Footnote 269: The subject is the same as the story of the Sirens in
the _Odyssey_ or of the _Lorelei_ in German Legend.]

So many of Brahms's pianoforte compositions are of great beauty and
significance that, although space is lacking for further comment on
definite examples, we urge the music-lover to study the following: the
second Intermezzo[270] in B-flat minor of op. 117, perhaps the most
beautiful single piece Brahms has written--remarkable for its rhythmic
texture and for the equalization of both hands, which was one of his
chief contributions to pianoforte style; the second Intermezzo of op.
119, the middle part of which is significant for the extended arpeggio
grouping for the left hand (Brahms following Chopin's lead in this
respect); the sixth Intermezzo of op. 118, a superb piece for sonority
and color; the third Intermezzo in op. 119, (grazioso e giocoso) and
the B minor Capriccio op. 76--both in Brahms's happiest vein of
exuberant vitality; the sixth Intermezzo in op. 116, a beautiful
example, in its polyphonic texture, of modernized Schumann; and, above
all, the mighty Rhapsodies in E-flat major, op. 112 No. 4 and the one
in G minor op. 79--this latter, one of Brahms's most dramatic
conceptions, and an example, as well, of complete sonata-form used for
an independent composition.

[Footnote 270: For further comments on the phraseology see _The Rhythm
of Modern Music_ by Abdy Williams, pp. 75-77. We may add that the
pieces called _Intermezzi_, are generally of a meditative, somber
nature; whereas the _Capriccios_ are more sprightly, even whimsical in
spirit.]


SONG--_Meine Liebe ist grün wie der Fliederbusch_

(SEE SUPPLEMENT NO. 61)

Whatever Brahms is or is not, he is universally recognized as an
inspired song-composer and those who do not know his songs are cut off
from one of the greatest joys music has to offer. As Huneker so well
says, "Although his topmost peaks are tremendously remote, and glitter
and gleam in an atmosphere almost too thin for dwellers of the plains,
in his songs he was as simple, as manly, as tender as Robert Burns."
In Brahms's songs we cannot say which is the most significant factor:
the words, the vocal part or the accompaniment; all go together to
make up a perfect whole. Brahms had discernment in the selection of
texts suited to inspire poetic creation. His melodies are always
appropriate to the spirit of the words, yet truly lyric and singable,
and the accompaniment catches and intensifies every subtle shade of
meaning. If any one factor is of special beauty, however, it is the
instrumental part; for here Brahms's great genius in pianoforte style
came to the fore and in utilizing every resource of the instrument to
glorify the spirit of the text, he is a worthy successor of Schubert,
Schumann and Franz. Note how in this song the passionate glow of the
poem is reflected in the gorgeous modulations and sonority of the
pianoforte part. Especially remarkable is the interlude between the
stanzas, with its wealth of dissonances and waves of flashing color.
After this surely no one can say that Brahms had no feeling for
sensuous effect, at any rate on the pianoforte. Other famous songs of
Brahms which should be familiar to the student are the following:
_Wie Melodien zieht es mir_, _Feldeinsamkeit_, _Minnelied_, _Von
ewiger Liebe_, _Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer_, _Sapphische Ode_,
_Vergebliches Ständchen_. An excellent essay on Brahms as a song
composer will be found in the preface to the _Forty Songs of Brahms_
in the Musician's Library (The Oliver Ditson Company).

The foregoing illustrations have made clear, we trust, the inspiration
and power of Brahms's varied message. His music, therefore, must be
approached reverently, sympathetically and with an earnest desire for
a better understanding, for Brahms is veritably a giant.




CHAPTER XVII

CÉSAR FRANCK


Before an appreciation of the significant works and influence of César
Franck can be gained, it is necessary to have a broad historical
perspective of what had been the trend and the limitations of French
music prior to his career. Since the time of Couperin and Rameau,
musical composition in France had been devoted almost exclusively to
opera--with its two types of grand opera and opéra-comique--and in
this field there had been some French musicians of real, though
possibly rather slight, genius: Philidor, Méhul, Grétry, Boieldieu,
Hérold and Auber. One searches in vain through French literature for
great symphonies, string-quartets, violin sonatas or pianoforte
compositions of significance. Berlioz, as we have seen, had composed a
number of orchestral works; but, from the standpoint of absolute
music, even these rather beg the question as they are so extremely
programmistic, dramatic or even theatric. This one-sided development
of French music was chiefly caused by the people's innate fondness for
the drama, and by the national genius for acting, mimicry and dancing.

Prior to the advent of Franck there were two important pioneers in the
broadening tendency which finally became noticeable, Saint-Saëns and
Lalo. For great assimilative power, for versatility, for clarity of
expression and a finish and finesse peculiarly French, Camille
Saint-Saëns (1835-still living) is certainly one of the most
remarkable musicians of the nineteenth century. His works are
numerous, always "well-made" and, though lacking in emotional depth,
by no means without charm and grace. They comprise ensemble works:
trios, etc., several concertos and symphonies and four symphonic
poems. Of these, the third concerto for pianoforte, with its Bach-like
introduction, the third violin concerto, the two symphonic poems, _Le
Rouet d'Omphale_ and _Phaëton_ and, in particular, the third symphony
in C minor, still hold their own. Whatever Saint-Saëns has to say is
well said; and if the French have modified their previous opinion that
the only vehicle for musical expression was the opera, it is largely
through the influence of his compositions. This C minor symphony,
first performed in London in 1886, shares with Lalo's symphony in G
minor (1887) the claim to be, in all French literature, the first
instrumental work of large scope free from programmistic tendencies.
Saint-Saëns[271] and Lalo fairly popularized the Sonata form and their
works are worthy of great respect; since, through them, the public
became accustomed to symphonic style and was prepared for the
subsequent greater works of Franck, d'Indy and Chausson. Although not
so versatile as Saint-Saëns nor so varied in output, Eduard Lalo
(1823-1892) should decidedly not be overlooked. He was of Spanish
origin and this racial strain is noticeable in the vivacity of his
rhythm, in the piquant individuality of his melodies and in his
brilliant and picturesque orchestration. His characteristic work is
represented by a series of Concertos and Rhapsodies in which he
employs Spanish, Russian and Norwegian themes. He did not escape the
French predilection for operatic fame and his best work is probably
the well-known opera _Le Roi d'Ys_, from which the dramatic overture
is often played separately. His G minor symphony, however, will always
be considered an important landmark in the development of French
instrumental music.[272]

[Footnote 271: For further comments on the style and influence of
Saint-Saëns see the essay Mason's _From Grieg to Brahms_; the article
by Professor E.B. Hill in the third volume of the _Art of Music_; and,
for some pungent and witty remarks, the Program Book of the Boston
Symphony Orchestra (edited by Philip Hale) for Nov. 22, 1918.]

[Footnote 272: For a comprehensive and discriminating account of his
style see the Boston Symphony Orchestra Program Book, for January 17,
1919.]

César Franck (1822-1890) was a composer of such innate spirituality
that to analyze and classify him in a formal manner seems well-nigh
irreverent. His music once heard is never forgotten, and when
thoroughly known is loved for all time. Nor is an elaborate
biographical account necessary; for Franck, more than any other modern
composer, has been fortunate in that his life and works have been
sympathetically presented to the world by a distinguished
contemporary, his most famous pupil d'Indy--himself a gifted composer
and a man of rare literary powers. His biography of César Franck (in
French and in English) should certainly be read by all who would keep
abreast of modern tendencies. Franck's message, however, is so
remarkable and his style so individual, that a few definite comments
may be made concerning the structural features of his work and the
essential attributes, thereby expressed, of his inspiring personality.
Franck was a Belgian born at Liège--one of that long line of musicians
who, though born elsewhere, have become thoroughly identified with
French thought and standards; and there is much in his music which
finds a parallel in the literary qualities of another Belgian artist,
Maeterlinck, for in both is that same haunting indefiniteness, that
same symbolic aspiration. Nothing in Franck is rigid, square-toed; his
music is suggestive of a mystic idealism, the full expression of
which, from its very nature is unattainable. Franck's outward life was
simple, without excitement or diversion of any kind. When he was not
giving lessons or composing, he was active in the service of the Roman
Catholic Church, in which he was a devout believer. For a number of
years he was organist at Sainte Clotilde, and his style thereby was
influenced strongly. A distinct note of religious exaltation runs
through much of his music; for Franck was a fine character, of
spotless purity of life and of such generosity and elevation of soul
that his pupils looked upon him as a real father and always called him
"Pater Seraphicus." He was universally acknowledged to be the greatest
improviser on the organ since Bach himself. Even Liszt, who heard him
in 1866, left the church, lost in amazement; evoking the name of the
great Sebastian as the only possible comparison.

Franck's services to the development of music are twofold: 1st, as an
inspired composer of varied works, which are more and more becoming
understood and loved; 2d, as a truly great teacher, among his notable
pupils being d'Indy, Chausson, Duparc, Ropartz, and the gifted but
short-lived Lekeu. In Franck's music, fully as remarkable as the
content--the worthy expression of his poetic nature--is its organic
structure. He was the first composer of the French School to use
adequately the great forms of symphonic and chamber music which had
been worked out hitherto by the Germans: Bach, Haydn, Mozart,
Beethoven, etc. If during the last thirty years, composers of the
modern French School have put forth a number of instrumental works of
large dimensions (chamber music, symphonies, symphonic poems and
pianoforte sonatas), it is to Franck more than to any other man, by
reason of his own achievements in these fields and his stimulating
influence on others, that this significant fact is due. A striking
feature of Franck's music is the individual harmonic scheme,
fascinating because so elusive. He was a daring innovator in
modulations and in chromatic effect; and has, perhaps, added more
genuinely new words to our vocabulary than any one since Wagner. The
basis of Franck's harmony is the novel use of the so-called augmented
harmonies which, in their derivation, are chromatically altered
chords. These are resolved by Franck in a manner remarkably free, and
are often submitted to still further chromatic change. In revealing
new possibilities he has, in fact, done for these chords what Wagner
did for the chord of the ninth. Any page of Franck's music will
exemplify this statement, and as an illustration we have cited, in the
Supplement, the first part of the Prelude in E major. A life-long
student of Bach and Beethoven, Franck believed--as a cardinal
principle--that great ideas were not enough; they must be welded
together with inexorable logic. And so his chief glory as a musical
architect is the free use he makes of such organic forms as the Canon,
the Fugue and the Varied Air. Franck was likewise a pioneer in
establishing in a sonata or symphony a new conception as to the
relationship of the movements. This he effected by the use of what may
be called "generative motives" which, announced in the first movement
of a work, are found with organic growth, modulatory and rhythmic, in
all the succeeding portions. Such a method of gaining unity had been
hinted at by Beethoven in his Fifth Symphony, was further developed by
Schumann and Liszt and, since the example of Franck, has become a
recognized principle in all large cyclic works. The following estimate
of his music by F. Baldensperger is worthy of citation. "The
contemplative character of Franck's music which explains his entire
technique is rare at the epoch in which his life was cast, an epoch of
realism, generally inspired by a taste for the picturesque and the
dramatic. Posterity will place César Franck in a niche similar to that
of Puvis de Chavannes, whose inspiration, indifferent to all worldly
solicitations, flowed willingly, like that of Franck, into the paths
of reverie, and pursued its way like a beautiful river of quiet
waters, undisturbed by waves or rapids, and reflecting the eternal
calm of the sky."

As representative works[273] we have chosen, for analytical comments
the _D minor Symphony_ (Franck's only work in this field), the
_Sonata_ for violin and pianoforte and the _Symphonic Variations_ for
pianoforte and orchestra. Franck has also composed a very beautiful
Quintet for strings and pianoforte--considered by some the most
sublime chamber work of recent times; a String Quartet, notable for
its interrelationship of themes and movements; two elaborate
compositions for pianoforte solo, the _Prelude, Chorale and Fugue_
(the fugue showing a masterly combination of strict fugal style and
free form) and the _Prelude, Aria and Finale_; a wealth of organ
works--the three _Chorales_ being of special beauty--and several
Symphonic Poems of lesser importance. His purely vocal works,
oratorios and church music lie outside the province of this book.

[Footnote 273: On account of the length of these works it is
impossible to include any of them in the Supplement.]

The Symphony[274] in D minor is in three movements; the first in
complete and elaborate sonata-form, the second a fusion of the two
customary middle movements, and the Finale (though fundamentally on a
sonata-form basis) an organic summing-up of the chief themes of the
entire work. The first movement begins, Lento, with the main theme
proper (thesis) the motive[275] of which is the foundation of the
whole work, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 274: Study, if possible, the orchestral score. For
class-room work there is an excellent four-hand arrangement by the
composer, and one for two hands by Ernest Alder.]

[Footnote 275: This terse phrase is identical with motives from
several other works, _e.g._, the beginning of Liszt's _Les Préludes_,
the motive "Muss es sein?" in Beethoven's quartet, opus 135, and the
Fate motive in Wagner's _Valkyrie_.]

The phraseology of the theme is noticeable for its flexibility; since
the first phrase is expanded to five measures and the second phrase
(antithesis), with a descending motive, to seven, _e.g._

[Music]

The harmony of this second phrase illustrates a striking feature in
Franck's style, namely the fact that his resolutions seldom come out
as expected but, instead, drift imperceptibly into other channels. In
measure 13 there begins a long series of modulatory developments of
the main theme--of a preludial nature--but _not_ a mere prelude in the
ordinary sense. That this entire opening portion is the _main body_
of the work is seen by a comparison with what takes place at the
beginning of the recapitulation. In measure 29, allegro non troppo, we
begin with a presentation of the motive in the usual first-movement
mood. The answering phrase, antithesis, is now quite different; and,
in measure 48, is developed--with some new contrapuntal voices--to a
half cadence in F minor. This whole portion, both the Lento and the
Allegro, is now repeated almost literally (the one slight change being
in measures 56-57) in this new key, a minor third higher than the
original. To begin a first movement in this way, _i.e._, with such a
strong contrast of moods is very novel and striking, but as Franck was
a devoted student of Beethoven, it would seem that, by presenting his
theme in different strata, he was simply expanding the practise[276]
of that master in order to impress his message upon the listener's
memory. The repetition of the Allegro part now leads through some rich
modulations to the entrance of the second theme, in measure 99. This
lovely melody, characteristic of Franck's tenderness,

[Music]

is noteworthy for the imitations between the violins and the 'cellos
and basses. It shows, furthermore, that peculiar quality in Franck's
style which comes from his elusive modulations. In measures 109-110 we
are at a loss to tell just what direction the music will take when
almost miraculously, in measure 111, we find ourselves in D-flat
major--in which key the whole theme is now repeated. Some stimulating
modulations bring us, in measure 129, to a most energetic and aspiring
melody, considered by some another part of the second theme, but which
certainly has the note of a closing theme and also the structural
position of a closing theme, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 276: See for example the opening measures of the _Waldstein_
and of the _Appassionata_ Sonata.]

It is developed with great brilliancy through a series of mediant
modulations, in which the originality of Franck's harmonic scheme is
very apparent. The exposition ends with some dreamy, pianissimo
reminiscences of the closing theme in the mediant keys of F, D and B
major, delicately scored for the wood-wind instruments and horns. The
development begins, in measure 191, with the motive of the closing
theme which, combined with other phrases from the exposition, is used
persistently in the bass for a number of measures. The material is
developed climactically until, in measure 229, we find an impressive
treatment of the second descending phrase of the first theme--originally
in augmentation and later in diminution, _e.g._

[Music]

and

[Music]

The rest of the development is clearly derivable from material already
presented. After a final _ff_ climax there begins, in measure 287, a
series of beautiful entries _pp_ of the closing theme for the
clarinet, oboe and flute. This is the spot in a sonata-form movement
where appears the hand of the master; for the excitement of the free
fantasy must cool down without entirely dying out, and there must also
be a fresh crescendo of energy for the restatement of themes in the
part following. Franck handles the situation with convincing skill;
and some climactic measures, in which the main theme hints at the
return, lead us, in measure 333, to the recapitulation. This is one of
the most powerful and eloquent parts of the movement, for the whole
first theme is presented canonically--the announcement in the
trombones, tuba and basses being answered, a half measure later, by
trumpets and cornets. The rest of the recapitulation, with necessary
modulations and slight expansion, corresponds closely to the first
portion. The coda, beginning after the same echo-effects heard at the
close of the exposition, is founded on one of the counterpoints of the
first subject, _e.g._

[Music]

Gathering headway it leads to an imposing assertion _fff_, in canon
form, of the main motto which concludes, with a widely spaced chord,
in the brilliant[277] orchestral key of D major.

[Footnote 277: Brilliant by reason of the fact that the four principal
tones in D major, D, A, G, E are _open_ strings on the violin.]

The second movement begins with a series of subdued, pizzicato chords
(for strings and harp) which establish the mood and later furnish the
harmonic background for the main theme. This haunting melody,
announced--in measure 16--by the English horn and afterwards
strengthened by the clarinet and flute, is clearly derived from the
motto of the first movement, _e.g._

[Music]

and is a notable example of the free phraseology and long sweep
peculiar to Franck. Although extending 32 measures it never loses its
continuity, for every measure grows inevitably from what has preceded.
It begins with two identical eight-measure phrases; the second of
which, with a different harmonic ending, is varied by a cantabile
counter theme in the violas--causing thereby, with the upper voice,
some delightful dissonant effects. The last eight-measure phrase, also
varied by a counterpoint in the 'cellos, ends with a characteristic,
Franckian modulation; keeping us in suspense until the last moment,
and then debouching unexpectedly into B-flat major. In this key there
follows a long-breathed, cantabile melody--at first for strings alone,
but scored with increasing richness. It abounds in modulatory changes
and expresses, throughout, the note of mystical exaltation so
prominent in Franck's nature. It ends in measures 81-86 with an
eloquent cadence, largamente and pianissimo, in B-flat major and is
followed by a partial restatement of the first theme; thus giving, to
this portion of the movement, a feeling of three-part form. Then,
after some preliminary phrases, begins the piquant theme in G minor,
in triplet rhythm, which takes the place of the conventional Scherzo,
_e.g._,

[Music]

for, as we have stated, the structural feature of this movement is the
fusion of the two customary middle movements. This theme, mostly _pp_
(con sordini and vibrato)--daintily scored for strings and light
wood-wind chords--closes, in measures 131-134, with a cadence in G
minor. The following portion, beginning in E-flat major, but often
modulating--its graceful theme sung by the clarinets, dolce
espressivo, answered by flutes and oboes--_e.g._,

[Music]

evidently takes the place of a trio and is one of the most poetic
parts of the movement. After some effective development there is a
return, in measure 175, to the G minor scherzo-theme in the strings;
soon joined, in measure 183, by the slow theme on the English
horn--the structural union of the two moods being thus established,
_e.g._

[Music]

The rest of the movement is a free but perfectly organic improvisation
on the chief melodies already presented. It is richly scored, with
dialogue effects between the several orchestral choirs; especially
beautiful are the two passages in B major, poco più lento, scored _pp_
for the complete wood-wind group and horns. The closing measures have
lovely echoes between wood-wind and strings, and the final cadence is
one of the most magical in all Franck; holding us off to the very last
from our goal and finally reaching it in a chord of unforgettable
peace and satisfaction, _e.g._

[Music]

The Finale in D major, allegro non troppo, is a remarkable example in
modern literature of that tendency, growing since Beethoven, not to
treat the last movement as an unrelated independent portion but,
instead, as an organic summing up of all the leading themes. This
cyclic use of themes--transferring them from one movement to
another--is one of Franck's important contributions to musical
architecture. The movement has two themes of its own, _e.g._

[Music: 1st theme]

[Music: 2d theme]

and at first proceeds along regular sonata-form lines, _i.e._, with an
exposition, development and recapitulation. After vigorous summons to
attention the first theme is given out by the 'cellos and bassoons. It
is expanded at some length, repeated _ff_ by the full orchestra, and
then after bold modulations leads, in measure 72, to the second theme
in B major, happily called by Ropartz the "theme of triumph."[278]
After a quieter portion of sombre tone in B minor we reach, in measure
124, an interpolation of the slow movement theme, _e.g._,

[Music]

sung by the English horn against a triplet accompaniment in the
strings; the fundamental beat--the time now changed from 2/2 to
3/4--preserving the same value. Now we begin to foresee that this
theme is to be the climax of the whole work. In measure 140 the
development proper is resumed; based, at first, on some modulatory and
imitative treatment of the first theme and followed by two _ff_
sostenuto announcements of the jubilant second theme. After these have
subsided there are a number of measures (più lento) of a shadowy
outline, developed from preceding melodic phrases. The pace gradually
quickens, the volume of sound increases and we are brought, through a
series of pungent dissonances and stimulating syncopations, to a
brilliant assertion of the first theme in D major. This again waxes
more and more eloquent until it bursts into a truly apocalyptic
proclamation of the slow movement theme for full orchestra which,
closing in D major, is the real climax of the movement and indeed of
the work. Franck, however, still wishes to impress upon us some of his
other thoughts--they are really too lovely not to be heard once
more--and so, after an intermediary passage consisting entirely of
successive ninth chords,[279] there is a reminiscence of the whole
closing theme of the first movement now for low strings alone--the
violins playing on the G string--later for the wood-wind and finally
echoed by the high strings _ppp_. As this fades away we reach one of
the most inspired passages of the whole work--in its mood of
mysterious suggestion truly indescribable. Over a slow elemental kind
of _basso ostinato_ there appear first the dramatic motto and then
other portions of preceding themes, as if struggling to come to the
light. A long exciting crescendo leads to a complete statement of the
main theme of the Finale, with a canonic treatment of which the work
ends, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 278: The scoring of this theme for trumpets, cornets and
trombones has been severely criticized and it is true that the cornet
is an instrument to be employed and played with discretion. The
writer, however, has heard performances of this work in which the
cornets seemed to give just that ringing note evidently desired by
Franck.]

[Footnote 279: The harmony of this passage is most characteristic of
Franck and should be carefully studied.]

That both the first and last movements end with canons is indeed
noteworthy; Franck thus clearly showing his belief that in no other
way than by polyphonic imitation could such intensity of utterance be
gained.


SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND PIANOFORTE IN A MAJOR

This Sonata ranks with those of Brahms as being among the great works
in its class. Some of its lovers, in fact, would risk an unqualified
superlative and call it the greatest. It certainly is remarkable for
its inspired themes, its bold harmonies, its free and yet organic
structure and for that sublime fervor which was the basis of Franck's
genius. It is, in two respects, at least, a highly original work: in
the unusual moods of the several movements, and in the relationship
between the two instruments. For although it is a violin sonata, the
emphasis in many respects is laid on the pianoforte part which
requires great virtuoso power of performance,--the violin, at times,
having the nature more of an obligato. There are four movements, the
first in abridged sonata form, _i.e._, there is no development; the
second in complete and elaborate sonata form; the third, a kind of
free rhapsody, supplying an intermezzo between the third and fourth
movements and organically connected with the Finale. This, in free
rondo-form, with a main theme of its own treated canonically, sums up
the chief themes which have preceded. The work exemplifies Franck's
practise of generative themes; for d'Indy claims[280] that the whole
structure is based on three motives, _e.g._,

[Music]

the rising and falling inflexion of which he typifies by what is
called a "torculus" ([torculus symbol])! Whether such minute analysis
is necessary for the listener may be open to question; but it is true
that in hearing the work one is struck by the homogeneity of the
material. The first movement is an impassioned kind of revery--in a
mood more often associated with the slow movement, in character
somewhat like the beginning of Beethoven's C-sharp minor Sonata. After
some preludial ninth chords the dreamy first theme is given out, molto
dolce, by the violin, supported by rich harmonies on the pianoforte,
the use of the augmented chords being prominent, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 280: See his _Course in Composition_, book II, pp. 423-426.]

Some natural expansion and development lead, in measure 31, to the
broad and vigorous second theme, sempre forte e largamente, announced
by the pianoforte, _e.g._

[Music]

This ends in F-sharp minor and is at once followed by a closing
portion, _i.e._, a repetition of the second theme with an elaborate
arpeggio accompaniment and some fragmentary phrases of the first theme
on the violin. Its last measures[281] are striking for the bold use of
augmented chords and for the wide spacing which gives an organ-like
sonority. The recapitulation, beginning in measure 63 with still
richer harmonization, is almost identical with the exposition; the
second theme appearing logically in the home key. The closing measures
of the coda, which starts in measure 97, illustrate Franck's genius in
the chromatic alteration of chords.

[Footnote 281: Note the correspondence between these measures in the
first part and the measures just before the end in the second part.]

The second movement, in a structural sense the most normal of the
four, speaks for itself. It is stormy and dramatic, with a number of
passages marked passionato and molto fuoco, and presents a rather
unusual side of Franck's quiet nature. The two themes are strong and
well contrasted: the first for the pianoforte, the second for the
violin, _e.g._

[Music: 1st theme]

[Music: 2d theme]

The development begins at the quasi lento, measure 80, with the second
(_b_) of the generative motives which is to play an important role in
the Fantasia and the Finale. It is rather broken up into sections, but
holds the interest through its unflagging rhythmic vigor and daring
dissonances. Franck's contrapuntal skill is shown here in the closing
measures (130-134) where a phrase from the second theme on the violin,
dolcissimo espressivo, is united with a phrase of the first theme on
the pianoforte, hinting at the return. The recapitulation, beginning
in measure 138, is perfectly normal and leads to a coda which,
becoming more and more animated, ends with brilliant bravura effects
for each instrument.

The third movement, entitled _Recitative-Fantasia_, is notable for its
long declamations for the violin alone, and for its introduction of a
theme from the preceding movement and of one to be repeated in the
Finale. Thus the organic relationship between the various movements is
shown and is still further emphasized in the Finale. The mood is often
very impassioned (once _fff_) and dramatic, with several passages
specifically marked. This music alone, which sounds like nothing
before or since, would stamp Franck as an absolutely original genius.
In measure 53 appears a long pianissimo meditation by the violin on a
phrase--the second generative motive (_b_)--from the preceding
movement, supported by beautifully spaced arpeggio chords on the
pianoforte, _e.g._

[Music]

In measure 71 occurs the first appearance of the bold theme which is
to be twice used for episodes in the Finale, _e.g._

[Music]

The closing cadence[282] of the movement, one of the most original and
truly beautiful in all literature as it seems to the writer, furnishes
a marvellous contrast to the stormy measures immediately preceding.

[Footnote 282: Already cited on page 57, Chapter IV.]

The Finale is perhaps the most spontaneous canon in existence, an
imitative dialogue between the two instruments; this form (which is
often rigid and mechanical) being used so easily that it seems as if
each instrument were naturally commenting upon the message of the
other. Observe also the sonorous background provided for the violin
melody by the widely spaced chords on the pianoforte, _e.g._

[Music]

The first episode, beginning in F-sharp minor at measure 38, is based
on the third generative phrase (_c_) brought over from the Fantasia
and embroidered by running passages (delicato) on the violin. This
leads to a return of the canonic first theme which, with an
interchange of statement and answer and with free modulations, is
developed to a brilliant climax--the canon still persisting--in the
dominant key of E major. Some transitional modulations, in which the
excitement cools down, bring us to the second episode, in B-flat
minor. This at first develops the phrase (_b_) from the middle part of
the second movement, _e.g._

[Music]

and later, also in the bass, a phrase from the main theme, _e.g._

[Music]

It is soon followed by a bold entrance of the dramatic theme from the
Fantasia which, twice presented--the second time grandioso--leads to a
thrilling cadence in C major. The third and last refrain is a complete
restatement of the original canon and closes in A major with a still
more brilliant imitative treatment of the passage formerly in the
dominant. The last measures--with the high trill on the violin and
cutting dissonances on the pianoforte--are far too exciting for mere
verbal description.


SYMPHONIC VARIATIONS FOR PIANOFORTE AND ORCHESTRA

This is one of Franck's most significant works, containing all his
individual characteristics: melodic intensity, novel chromatic harmony
and freedom of form combined with coherence. Franck always claimed
that the variation form, rightly treated, was a perfect medium for
free, imaginative expression; surely this work is a manifestation of
his belief. A careful study will justify the statement that his style
is founded on that of Bach and Beethoven; for the naturalness of these
melodic variations can be compared only with the _Passacaglia in C
minor_, and the general structure of the work finds its prototype in
the Finale of the _Heroic Symphony_. It is a set of free variations,
or rather organic transformations of two themes; the first sombre,
entirely in the minor, the second brighter, with some passing emphasis
on the major. The variations are not numbered and there are no rigid
stops; though, of course, when objective points are reached, there is
natural punctuation. The two themes, as follows--a striking example of
Franck's peculiar harmonic scheme--should be carefully studied, _e.g._

[Music: 1st theme]

[Music: 2d theme]

The work opens with a series of restless dotted notes for the strings
_ff_ which diminish and retard to an entrance of the first theme, più
lento, for the pianoforte; the two phrases of which are interrupted by
a passage, somewhat modified, from the introduction. Some preludial
measures, expanding the material presented, bring us at B[283] to a
premonitory statement of the second theme _pp_ (in wood-wind and
pizzicato strings) over a muffled roll of the kettle-drums on C-sharp,
_e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 283: The indication by letters is the same in the full score
as in the version for two pianofortes.]

Then follows a long rhapsodic presentation of the first theme for
pianoforte solo--the melody in octaves and the accompaniment in the
widest arpeggios possible. This passage is one of great sonority and
reveals clearly the influence of the organ upon Franck's style. Some
further measures of general development, containing at E a
reminiscence of the first theme, bring us (after an elaborate
half-cadence on the dominant of F-sharp minor) to the entrance of the
second theme. Now that all the melodic material has been presented,
Franck allows it to grow and blossom. In the first variation at F we
have phrases of the second theme broken up into a dialogue between
strings, wood-wind and pianoforte; and in the second at G the violas
and 'cellos sing the whole second theme accompanied by some ingenious
figuration on the pianoforte. This is followed at H by a brilliant
amplification for the solo instrument, lightly accompanied on the
orchestra, of phrases already heard and leads at I to a fortissimo
orchestral tutti in D major--the next variation--which proclaims a
portion of the second theme. This is developed with great power on
both instruments and is combined, nine measures after J, with a
variant of the first theme. At K there is a bold treatment of the
second theme (sostenuto) for oboes and clarinets against rushing
octaves on the pianoforte.

At L we have some further development of the second theme, the melody
being in the strings with a background of broken triplet chords on the
pianoforte. We now reach at M--molto più lento--the most poetic
variation of the work. All the 'cellos, dolce e sostenuto, sing the
second theme in the rich key of F-sharp major, the closing phrases
answered by the wood-wind; while the pianoforte supports them with
coloristic, arabesque-like broken chords containing a melodic pattern
of their own. At N the 'cellos continue with phrases from the first
theme, the accompaniment being in extended arpeggios against a
background of sustained strings (_ppp_ con sordino). A climax is
gradually reached which ends, smorzando, with a descending chromatic
run on the pianoforte, followed by a long trill on C-sharp which
ushers in the closing portion of the work. The structure, as a whole,
is divided into three main portions: the first preludial, the second
sombre and often meditative--largely in the minor--the third entirely
in the major and of extraordinary brilliance and vivacity. At the
Allegro non troppo after the trill, we find a variant of the first
theme for the 'cellos and basses in F-sharp major, _e.g._,

[Music]

accompanied by broken chords on the pianoforte and wood-wind. This is
followed at P by a free treatment for pianoforte, con fuoco, of the
first theme which develops at Q into a most pianistic presentation (in
the upper register of the instrument) of the phrase just announced by
the 'cellos. In the fifth measure after R the basses begin, pizzicato
but forte, a modified statement of the second theme, accompanied by a
new counter melody on the pianoforte, dolce ma marcato, _e.g._

[Music]

This leads into a brilliant climax for orchestra alone based on the
first theme which, at the very end, modulates to E-flat major. Then
follows an episodical portion of unusual beauty--a long, dreamy
passage, dolce rubato, for solo pianoforte, in which the first theme
is merely hinted at in shadowy outlines, _e.g._

[Music]

Abounding in fascinating modulations and coloristic effects it shows
Franck's genius equally for real melodic germination with an avoidance
of all perfunctory manipulation of his material. This leads, four
measures after T, to an entrance _pp_ in the wood-wind, of a variant
of the first theme. Due to the effect of contrasted accents the
passage is most exciting--two rhythms being treated at once. A climax
for full orchestra brings us at V to a repetition of the former
pianoforte presentation of the first theme, followed as before, at W
by the counter-melody against the second theme, forte, in the basses.
The first theme, now in complete control, is here proclaimed most
eloquently in antiphonal form between the full orchestra and
pianoforte, _e.g._

[Music]

The work ends with a rapid iteration, molto crescendo, of the first
motive--in diminution. Now that we have reviewed the entire
composition, there is one feature worthy of special emphasis. The
structure as a whole (as we have stated) is clearly divided into three
main parts; but when we examine the third part by itself, we find that
it follows the lines of the sonata-form. For there is a first portion,
with a main theme in F-sharp major, and a second theme--the new
melody--in D major; the passage for pianoforte in E-flats major stands
for the development, and the movement concludes with a distinct third
portion, both first and second theme being in the home key. Thus the
structure represents a carefully planned union of the variation form
and the sonata-form which were special favorites of Franck. The work,
which, after earnest study, will surely be enjoyed and loved, ranks
with the _Istar Symphonic Variations_ by d'Indy and the two sets on
themes from Paganini by Brahms as the acme of what the variation form
may indeed be when treated by a master.




CHAPTER XVIII

THE MODERN FRENCH SCHOOL--D'INDY AND DEBUSSY


Not only as the most distinguished of César Franck's pupils, but by
reason of his undoubted musicianship and marked versatility--his works
being in well nigh every form--Vincent d'Indy (1851-still living) is
rightly considered to be the most representative composer of his
branch of the modern French school.[284] Whether history will accord
to him the rank of an inspired genius it is as yet too early to
decide; but for the sincerity and nobility of his ideas, for his
finished workmanship and the influence he has exerted, through his
many-sided personality, in elevating public taste and in the education
of young musicians, he is worthy of our gratitude. D'Indy is a
patriotic Frenchman believing profoundly that French music has an
important _rôle_ to bear; who has incarnated this belief in a series
of works of such distinction that, if not unqualifiedly loved, they
at least compel recognition. If he swings a bit too far in his
insistence upon the exclusive glories of French genius, let us
remember that the modern Germans[285] have been just as one-sided from
their point of view--and with even less tangible proof of attainment.
For it seems incontestable that, since the era of Wagner and Brahms,
the modern French and Russian Schools have contributed to the
development of music more than all the other nations combined. It is
for us in America who, free from national prejudice, can stand off and
take an impartial view, to appreciate the good points in _all_
schools. A detailed account of d'Indy's life and works will not be
necessary, for the subject has been admirably and comprehensively
treated by D.G. Mason in his set of _Essays on Contemporary Composers_
and in the article by E.B. Hill in the _Art of Music_, Vol. 3.

[Footnote 284: This school may be said to contain two groups: one, the
pupils of César Franck--d'Indy, Chausson, Duparc, Rousseau, Augusta
Holmès and Ropartz, the chief feature in whose style is a
modernization of classic practice; a second consisting of Debussy,
Ravel, Dukas and Florent Schmitt, whose works manifest more extreme
individualistic tendencies.]

[Footnote 285: The well-known German scholar and editor Max
Friedländer, who visited this country in 1910, acknowledged--in a
conversation with the writer--that he had never even heard of
Chabrier!]

D'Indy's compositions, as in the case of Franck, are not numerous, but
finely wrought and of distinct and varied individuality. His chief
instrumental[286] works comprise a _Wallenstein Trilogy_ (three
symphonic poems based on Schiller's drama) notable for descriptive
power and orchestral effect; a Symphony for orchestra and pianoforte
on a mountain air[287]--one of his best works, because the folk-song
basis furnishes a melodic warmth which elsewhere is sometimes lacking;
a set of Symphonic Variations on the Assyrian legend of Istar; a
remarkable Sonata for violin and pianoforte; a String-Quartet, all the
movements of which are based on a motto of four notes, and lastly the
Symphony in B-flat major--considered his masterpiece--in which the
same process of development from generative motives is followed as in
César Franck. All these works contain certain salient characteristics
proceeding directly from d'Indy's imagination and intellect. There is
always an ideal and noble purpose, a stoutly knit musical fabric and
melodies--d'Indy's own melodies, sincerely felt and beautifully
presented. Whether they have abounding power to move the heart of the
listener is, indeed, the point at issue. Since d'Indy is on record as
saying, "There is in art, truly, nothing but the heart that can
produce beauty," it is evident that he believes in the emotional
element in music. That there is a difference of opinion however, as to
what makes emotional power is shown by his estimate of Brahms (set
forth in his _Cours de Composition Musicale_, pp. 415-416) in the
statement that, though Brahms is a fine workman, his music lacks the
power to touch the heart (faire vibrer le coeur). There is no doubt
that, in any question of Brahms versus d'Indy, such has not been the
verdict of outside opinion. D'Indy is admired and respected, whereas
Brahms has won the love of those who know him; and the truth in the
saying, "Securus judicat orbis terrarum" is surely difficult to
contravene. D'Indy's melodies can always be minutely analysed[288] and
they justify the test; but we submit that the great melodies of the
world speak to us in more direct fashion. For there is, in his music,
a seriousness which at times becomes somewhat austere. He seems so
afraid of writing pretty tunes or ear-tickling music, that we often
miss a sensuous, emotional warmth. He hates the commonplace,
cultivating the ideal and religion of beauty. Bruneau, himself a noted
French critic and composer, says, "No one will deny his surprising
technique or his unsurpassed gifts as an orchestral writer, but we
might easily wish him more spontaneity and less dryness." We cannot,
however, miss the dignity and elevation of style found in d'Indy's
works or fail to be impressed by their wonderfully planned musical
architecture. His music demands study and familiarity and well repays
such effort. D'Indy's work, as a teacher, centres about the "Schola
Cantorum" so-called, in which several talented American students from
Harvard and other Universities have already worked. Here all schools
of composition are thoroughly studied, and the rigid and formal
methods of the Conservatoire abandoned. D'Indy believes that the
materials for the structure of modern music are to be found in the
Fugue of Bach, and in the cyclical Sonata Form and the free Air with
Variations of Beethoven--these forms, by reason of their inherent
logic and simplicity, allowing scope for infinite freedom of
treatment. D'Indy is also a thoroughly modern composer in that he is
an artist in words as well as in notes. His life of César Franck is a
model of biographical style, and he has recently published a life of
Beethoven refreshingly different from the stock narratives. In fine,
d'Indy is a genius, in whom the intellectual aspects of the art,
rather than purely emotional appeal, are clearly in the ascendant.

[Footnote 286: D'Indy's significant contributions to operatic and
choral literature, such as _Fervaal_, _L'étranger_, _Le Chant de la
Cloche_ and _La Légende de St. Christophe_, lie without our province.]

[Footnote 287: From the Cévennes region whence d'Indy's family
originally came.]

[Footnote 288: See the elaborate analysis by Mr. Mason in the essay
above referred to.]

We shall now comment briefly on one, only, of d'Indy's compositions,
the Symphonic Poem, _Istar_, which is a set of variations[289] treated
in a manner as novel as it is convincing; the work beginning with
variations which gradually become less elaborate until finally only
the theme itself is heard in its simple beauty. This reversal of
customary treatment is sanctioned by the nature of the subject, and
the correspondence between dramatic logic and musical procedure is
admirably planned. The story of the work is that portion of the
Assyrian epic Izdubar which describes, to quote Apthorp's translation
of the French version, "how Istar, daughter of Sin, bent her steps
toward the immutable land, towards the abode of the dead, towards the
seven-gated abode where He entered, toward the abode whence there is
no return." Then follows a description of the raiment and the jewels
of which she is stripped at the entrance to each of the gates. "Istar
went into the immutable land, she took and received the waters of
life. She presented the sublime Waters, and thus, in the presence of
all, set free the Son of Life, her young lover." The structural
novelty of the work is that, beginning with complexity--typifying the
gorgeously robed Istar--the theme discloses itself little by little,
as she is stripped of her jewels, until at last, when she stands forth
in the full splendor of nudity, the theme is heard unaccompanied, like
Isis unveiled or, to change the figure, like a scientific law which
has been disclosed. The work is based on three generative themes; the
second, derived from the first and of subsidiary importance, called by
d'Indy the motif d'appel. It plays its part, however, since it
introduces the work and serves as a connection between the variations,
seven in all. These themes are as follows:

1. Principal theme:

[Music]

2. Motif d'appel.

[Music]

3. Subsidiary theme, in form of a march.

[Music]

[Footnote 289: For a detailed analysis the student is referred to the
account by the composer himself in his _Cours de Composition
Musicale_, part II, pp. 484-486; to Gilman's _Studies in Symphonic
Music_ and to Vol. 3 of Mason's _Short Studies of Great
Masterpieces_.]

By following the poem the imaginative listener can readily appreciate
the picturesque suggestiveness of the composer. The work opens with a
mysterious intoning, by a muted horn, of the motif d'appel, and then
follows a triple presentation of the march theme in F minor, scored
for wood-wind and low strings--the melody sung at first by the violas
and clarinets and later by the bass clarinet and 'cellos. This
original scoring establishes just the appropriate atmosphere for an
entrance to the abode of captivity.

[Music]

The first variation, in F major, employing all the tone-color of the
full orchestra, is a gorgeous picture of the Oriental splendor of
Istar. It is noteworthy that each variation contains a modulation to a
key a semitone higher, thus affording a factor of unity amid the
elaborate flowerings of the musical thought. The second variation, in
E major scored for strings and wood-wind, is significant for the way
in which the original theme is expanded into a flowing melody. The
logical derivation of the fabric from the first intervals of the main
theme is obvious, _e.g._

[Music]

The fourth variation, in F-sharp major, scored for pizzicato strings
and staccato wood-wind, with light touches on horns, trumpets,
cymbals, triangle and harps, introduces the scherzo mood into the work
and with its persistent 5/4 rhythm is of fascinating effect.

[Music]

The loveliest variation for warmth and emotional appeal is the sixth,
in A-flat major (at O in the orchestral score) for strings with the
gradual addition of the wood-wind and harps. Its climax certainly does
much to atone for any dryness found in d'Indy's other works.

[Music]

In the next variation, at P, the trend of the work becomes
increasingly manifest for it is written in only two voices, scored for
flute and violins and is a dramatic preparation for the announcement
of the complete main theme which is now proclaimed in unison by the
full orchestra. The work closes with a transformation of the opening
march into F major, its majestic rhythm symbolizing the successful
result of Istar's quest (See Supplement No. 62.)

Debussy, Claude Achille, (1862-1918) is certainly the embodiment, as a
composer, of Pater's saying that "Romanticism[290] is the addition of
strangeness to beauty"; for when we listen to his music we are
conscious of material and of forms of treatment which we have never
heard before. Debussy has listened to the promptings of his own subtle
imagination and has evolved a style as novel as it is beautiful. As
with all real originators, Debussy at the outset was fiercely
challenged, and his music even to-day calls forth intolerant remarks
on the part of those who are suspicious of all artistic progress and
evolution. In this connection it is worthy of note that the French,
notwithstanding their national doctrine of liberty, have been chary of
applying this to composers who were departing from the beaten path.
Berlioz, whom now they acclaim as one of their greatest artists, was
welcomed as he deserved only after his fame had been established among
the Germans. Bizet was but slightly appreciated during his life.
Franck met with fierce opposition from the routine members of the
profession; and Debussy, although the work by which he won the "Prix
de Rome" in 1884 was acknowledged to be one of the most interesting
which had been heard at the Institute for years, was afterwards
severely criticized for the setting made in Rome to Rossetti's
_Blessed Damozel_ because, forsooth, he had strayed too far from
established and revered tradition. We Americans may have a distinct
feeling of pride in the knowledge that the music of Debussy, the
strongest note of which is personal freedom--the inherent right of the
artist to express in his own way the promptings of his imagination--was
widely studied and appreciated in this land of the free before it had
begun to have anything like a universal acceptance among the French
themselves.

[Footnote 290: From this comparison we should not wish it to be
understood that Debussy is merely an addition to the standard Romantic
group of Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, etc.; his style, however, is surely
Romantic in the broad sense of the term, _i.e._, highly imaginative
and individual.]

But can any connection with the past be traced in the style of this
remarkable[291] composer, and can we discover any sources, in the
world of nature, from which he has derived the materials for his novel
and fascinating harmonies? When we definitely analyze Debussy's
harmonic scheme, we see that he looks both forward and back. Much of
his original tone coloring is derived from the old church modes such
as the Lydian, the Dorian and the Phrygian; for example, the
mysterious opening chords of his opera, and the following passage from
_La Cathédrale engloutie_.

[Footnote 291: The _très exceptionnel, très curieux, très solitaire
Claude Debussy_ as he has been aptly characterized.]

[Music]

He is also extremely fond of a scale of whole tones, which had been
somewhat anticipated by Liszt and members of the Russian[292] school.
In this the normal perfect 4th and 5th and the major 6th become
augmented, thus producing a very peculiar but alluring harmonic basis.

[Music]

[Footnote 292: The first authentic use being probably by Dargomijsky
in his opera the _Stone Guest_.]

[Music]

[Music: _Reflets dans l'eau_]

Modern composers have been feeling for some time that harmonic scope
was needlessly limited by clinging too closely to the major and minor
diatonic scales; and Brahms, Tchaikowsky and Franck have all
introduced the old modes for special contrasts of color. But no one
has used them so subtly as Debussy. In his music they often take the
place of our customary scales with their deep-rooted harmonic
tendencies and perpetual suggestion of traditional cadences. This
return to the greater flexibility and variety of the old modes is a
significant feature in modern music and Debussy's example in this
respect has been highly beneficial. As to his alleged use of new
material, an astute French critic has observed that "a revolution is
merely an evolution rendered apparent." By no means all of music can
be found in nature, but the basis is there, and it remains for the
artistic imagination to select and to amplify. Already many years ago
the scientist Helmholtz said, "Our system of scales and of harmonic
tissues does not rest upon unalterable natural laws, but is partly at
least the result of aesthetic principles of selection, which have
already changed, and will change still further with the progressive
development of humanity."[293] In other words the limits of
receptivity of the human ear cannot be foreseen nor can the workings
of the artistic imagination be prescribed. The so-called Chord of
Nature,[294] consisting of the overtones struck off by any sounding
body, and re-enforced on the pianoforte with its large sounding board,
contains in epitome this basic material of music; and the several
octaves represent in a striking manner the harmonic combinations used
at different periods of development. Thus during the early centuries
nothing but triads were in use; only gradually were 7th chords--those
of four factors--introduced. Wagner was the first to realize the
possibilities of chords of the 9th, 11th, and 13th. In Debussy these
combinations are used as freely as triads, _e.g._

[Music: _Pelléas et Mélisande_]

[Music: _La fille aux cheveux de lin_]

[Music: _Reflets dans l'eau_]

and he has gone far beyond anything known before in a subtle use of
the extreme dissonant elements, his sensitive imagination evidently
hearing sounds hitherto unrealized. This surmise is corroborated by
Debussy's own statement that, while serving as a young man on garrison
duty, he took great delight in listening to the overtones of bugles
and of the bells from a nearby convent. This chromatic style had been
anticipated by Chopin whose use of the harmonic series in those
prismatic, spray-like groups of superadded tones is such a striking
feature in his pianoforte works. There is, therefore, nothing outré or
bizarre in Debussy's idiom; it is but a logical continuation of former
tendencies. His works show great variety and comprise pianoforte
pieces, many songs, a remarkable string quartet, some daringly
original tone-poems for full orchestra, several cantatas, and--most
unique of all--his opera of _Pelléas et Mélisande_, based on the
well-known play by Maeterlinck. A few comments may profitably be made
on each of these types. With few exceptions all his pianoforte pieces
have suggestive titles, _e.g._, _Reflets dans l'eau_, _Jardins sous la
pluie_, _La soirée dans Grenade_, _Poissons d'or_, _Voiles_, _Le vent
dans la plaine_, _Bruyères_. They are mood-pictures in which the
composer has tried to imprison certain elusive states of mind--or the
impressions made on his susceptible imagination by the phenomena of
Nature: the subtly blended hues of a sunset, the changing rhythm of
drifting clouds, the indefinite murmur of the sea, the dripping of
rain. For Debussy, like Beethoven before him, is a passionate lover of
Nature. To quote his own words, he finds his great object lessons of
artistic liberty in "the unfolding of the leaves in Spring, in the
wavering winds and changing clouds." Again, "It benefits me more to
watch a sunrise than to listen to a symphony. Go not to others for
advice, but take counsel from the passing breezes, which relate the
history of the world to those who listen." Thus we see that Debussy
submits himself to the spells of Nature and tries to transmute them
into sound. The only analogies to use in a verbal description of his
music must be drawn from nature, for in each are the same shadowy
pictures, the same melting outlines.[295] Debussy has a close affinity
with that school of painters known as impressionists or
symbolists--Manet, Monet, Dégas, Whistler--and is doing with novel
combinations of sound, with delicate effects of light and shade, what
they have done for modern freedom in color. His music has been called
a "sonorous impressionism." It might equally well be phrased "rhythmic
sound." To those conservatives who find it difficult to think in terms
of musical color, and wish _their_ imagination rather than that of
genius to be the standard, the retort of the artist Whistler is
applicable: To a lady who viewing one of his sunsets remarked, "But,
Mr. Whistler, I have never seen a sunset like that" came the reply
"Yes, Madam, but don't you wish you had?" In his songs Debussy has
been most fastidious as to choice of texts, his favorite poets being
Verlaine, Baudelaire and Mallarmé, called "symbolists," since the aim
of their art is to resemble music and to leave for the reader a wide
margin for symbolic interpretation. His songs throughout are
imaginative and fanciful in the highest degree, and the instrumental
part a beautiful background of color. Of Debussy's compositions for
orchestra the one to win--and possibly to deserve--the most lasting
popularity is _L'après-midi d'un Faune_, which is an extraordinary
translation into music of the veiled visions and the shadowy beings of
an eclogue of Mallarmé in which, as Edmund Gosse says, "Words are
used in harmonious combinations merely to suggest moods or conditions,
never to state them definitely."[296] By perfect rhythmic freedom, and
by delicately-colored waves of sound Debussy has expressed in a manner
most felicitous just the atmosphere of remoteness, and of primeval
simplicity. By many this work is considered the most hypnotic
composition in existence, and the writer trusts that his readers have
heard a poetic interpretation of it by a fine orchestra. The salient
features of Debussy's style are found in _Pelléas et Mélisande_--by
far the most important operatic work since Wagner. Maeterlinck's play
deals with legendary, mysterious, symbolic beings, and the entire
subject-matter was admirably suited to Debussy's genius. As
Maeterlinck says, "The theatre should be the reflex of life, not this
external life of outward show, but the true inner life which is
entirely one of contemplation." This opera is quite different from any
previously written, in that the characters sing throughout in
_recitative_ now calm, now impassioned, but never in set, periodic
arias. In fact, here we have at last a true musical _speech_, which is
indeed another thing from music set to words. Debussy has defended
this peculiar style in the following words: "Melody is, if I may say
so, almost anti-lyric, and powerless to express the constant change of
emotion or life. Melody is suitable only for the song (_chanson_),
which confirms a fixed sentiment. I have never been willing that my
music should hinder, through technical exigencies, the changes of
sentiment and passion felt by my characters. It is effaced as soon as
it is necessary that these should have perfect liberty in their
gestures as in their cries, in their joy as in their sorrow."

[Footnote 293: For an enlightening amplification of this point see the
first chapter of Wallace's _The Threshold of Music_.]

[Footnote 294: See page 193.]

[Footnote 295: For further suggestive comments on Debussy's style
consult the _Essay on Pelléas et Mélisande_ by Lawrence Gilman (G.
Schirmer, New York) and in particular an article by the same author in
the Century Magazine for August, 1918.]

[Footnote 296: Gosse also calls it a _famous miracle of
intelligibility_.]

Now that we may look forward to no more compositions from
Debussy[297]--he died in March, 1918--it is certainly fitting to
attempt a forecast as to the permanent worth of his achievements and
his influence upon future development. Like all music his compositions
may be judged from several points of view: the worth of the content,
the perfection or inadequacy of style and the manner in which the media
of presentation are used. To begin with the last characteristic--there
is no doubt that Debussy has enlarged the resources of our two chief
modern instruments, the pianoforte and the orchestra. By him the
pianoforte is always treated according to its true nature, _i.e._, as
an intimate, coloristic instrument and, in amplifying all its
resources of tone-color, flexible rhythm and descriptive power he is
the worthy successor of Chopin. In his orchestral compositions such as
the _Nocturnes_ (_Clouds_, _Festivals_ and _Sirens_), the _Sea Pieces_
and _Images_, of which the _Rondes de Printemps_ and _Ibéria_ are the
most significant, there is a union of warmth and delicacy as
individual as it is rare. _Ibéria_, in fact, for vitality of
imagination and flawless workmanship may be considered the acme of
Debussy's orchestral style. The great resources of the modern
orchestra are often abused. Compositions are rich and gorgeous but at
the same time inflated, turgid and bombastic. Certain works of Richard
Strauss and Mahler are examples in point. Debussy's treatment,
however, of the varied modern orchestra is remarkable for its economy.
The melodic lines stand out clearly, there is always a rich supporting
background and we are convinced that everything sounds just as the
composer meant. As to the structure and style of his music, these are
more subtle matters to estimate. We may acknowledge at once that
Debussy's style is free and individual, for he has written his music
his own way, with slight regard for academic models. But a thorough
examination of his works shows no evidence of carelessness or
uncertainty of aim. There is, to be sure, nothing of that routine
development of musical material which we associate with classic
practice--instead a free, imaginative growth. But there is always a
definite structural foundation to support the freedom of expression.
This coherence is sometimes gained by a single dominating note about
which everything is grouped, as, in the _Soirée dans Grenade_, the
C-sharp and in the _Reflets dans l'eau_, an F. Most of Debussy's
compositions imply the principles, albeit freely used, of Two- and
Three-part form and the fundamental laws of key-relationship and of
artistic contrast.

[Footnote 297: The best books yet written on Debussy and his style are
those by Mrs. Liebich and Louis Laloy. Consult also the comprehensive
essay by E.B. Hill in Vol. III of the _Art of Music_.]

In considering the value of Debussy's message, _i.e._, the content of
his music, the animus and predilection of the hearer have to be taken
into account. For his music is so intensely subjective and intimate
that you like it or not, as the case may be. Many persons, however,
become very fond of it, when they have accustomed themselves to its
peculiar idiom. The charge that there is in Debussy no melody of a
purely musical nature, as some critics have asserted,[298] seems to
the writer too sweeping and not supported by the inner evidence. It
may be granted that Debussy's melodic line is very fluid and elastic,
like Wagner's "continuous melody," not definitely sectionalized by
balanced phrases or set cadences. But it surely has its own right to
existence--music being pre-eminently the art of freedom--and let us
remember that Nature herself has melting outlines, shadowy vistas and
subtle rhythms. Debussy, in fact, is the poet of the "indefinite" and
the "suggestive" and his music has had a great influence in freeing
expression from scholastic bonds. Even from the standpoint of the
popular conception of "tune" it is difficult to see what objection can
be made to the following melodies:

[Music: _L'isle joyeuse_]

[Music: _Poissons d'or_]

[Music: _Cortège_]

[Footnote 298: See the 2d volume of _Great Composers_ by D.G. Mason
and also the essay on Debussy in _Contemporary Composers_ by the same
author.]

It cannot be denied that such an individual style as Debussy's is
liable to manneristic treatment, though whether he should be called
"the prince of mannerists"[299] is decidedly open to debate. Some
critics feel that he has over-used the whole-tone scale and it must be
confessed, he has a rather affected fondness for a formula of
block-like chords, _e.g._

[Music: _Danse sacrée_]

[Footnote 299: According to Ernest Newman in a well-known article in
the Musical Times (London).]

But these, after all, are but "spots on the sun." To sum up our
conclusions: the following merits in Debussy's music, it seems to me,
cannot be gainsaid. He has widened incalculably the vocabulary of
music and has expressed in poetic and convincing fashion moods which
never before had been attempted. In his work are new revelations of
the power of the imagination. As Lawrence Gilman keenly remarks, "He
has known how to find music (in _Pelléas et Mélisande_) for the
sublime reflection of Arkel, 'If I were God, I should pity the hearts
of men.'" Debussy was also gifted with rare critical ability and many
of his observations are worthy of deep consideration. For
example--"Music should be cleared of all scientific apparatus. Music
should seek humbly to give pleasure; great beauty is possible between
these limits. Extreme complexity is the opposite of art. Beauty should
be perceptible; it should impose itself on us, or insinuate itself,
without any effort on our part to grasp it. Look at Leonardo da Vinci,
Mozart! These are great artists."

No account of modern French music would be satisfactory which omitted
to mention several composers who, though of somewhat lesser importance
than d'Indy and Debussy, have nevertheless achieved works of
distinction and charm. These are Chabrier, Fauré, Duparc, Chausson and
Ravel. Chabrier (1841-1894) is noted for a bold exuberance and
vividness of expression, for a sense of humor and for a power of
orchestral color and brilliance which have not been duplicated. His
style is entirely his own and he is a veritable incarnation of "vis
Gallica." Born in the South of France, the hot blood of that magic
land seems to throb in his music. We have from him several pianoforte
compositions of marked originality, in particular the _Bourrée
Fantasque_, some inimitable songs, _e.g._, _Les Cigales_ and _La
Villanelle des petits Canards_ and, most famous of all, his Rhapsody
for orchestra entitled _España_, based on Spanish themes. This work
has proved to be a landmark in descriptive power and shares with
Rimsky-Korsakoff's _Scheherazade_ the claim of being the most
brilliant piece of orchestral writing in modern times. Some of
Chabrier's best work is in his opera of _Gwendoline_, especially the
Prelude to the second act which is often played by itself.

Although Fauré (1845-still living) is more versatile and prolific than
Chabrier, his fame rests upon his achievements in two fields--the song
and pianoforte composition. Some of his pianoforte pieces are, to be
sure, of a light, _salon_ type; yet in many we find a true, poetic
sentiment and they are all written in a thoroughly pianistic idiom. In
fact, prior to Debussy Fauré was the only Frenchman worthy to compare
in mastery of pianoforte style with Chopin, Schumann and Liszt. As a
song composer Fauré ranks with the highest in modern times. The exotic
charm and finesse of workmanship in such songs as _Clair de Lune_,
_Les Roses d'Ispahan_ cannot be denied and the instrumental part is
always worthy of the composer's genius for pianoforte style, _e.g._,
the accompaniment to _Nell_ being a model in its free polyphony and
richness of effect. Fauré has been fastidious in his selection of
texts and he is fortunate to have been able to avail himself of the
genius of such lyric poets as Leconte de Lisle, Baudelaire, Verlaine,
Sully-Prudhomme and others. Indeed as a song-composer Fauré may fairly
be grouped with the great German masters. His songs are not German
songs, but they are just as subtle in expressing all that is fine in
French spirit as those of Schumann and Brahms in their Teutonic
sentiment. For this reason alone Fauré is a commanding figure in
modern French music. He is also the author of a violin sonata which
has enjoyed a popularity second only to that of Franck and a Quintet
for pianoforte and strings of distinct originality.

Duparc (1848-still living) one of the earliest of César Franck's
pupils--though working in practically but a single field and though by
reason of ill health he has written nothing since 1885--will always
hold high rank for the beauty and breadth of his songs, especially
_L'invitation au Voyage_, _Extase_ and _Phydilé_. This last is
considered by the writer the most exquisite song in modern literature;
its melody, its modulations, its accompaniment alike are
flawless.[300]

[Footnote 300: An excellent collection of modern French songs may be
found in the two volumes published by the Oliver Ditson Co. in the
Musicians Library.]

Chausson (1855-1899) the most gifted of Franck's pupils, though
without d'Indy's strength of character, was killed by an unfortunate
accident[301] just as he was ready for an adequate self-expression. He
had a sensitive imagination, an individual harmonic style; and in
those works which he has left--notably several songs, a Quartet for
pianoforte and strings and the Symphony in B-flat major, op. 20--there
is found a spirit of genuine romantic inspiration.

[Footnote 301: While he was riding a bicycle.]

Although Ravel (1875-still living) cannot claim to be a pioneer like
Debussy--since in his music there are frequent traces of the
exuberance of Chabrier, the suavity of Fauré, the atmosphere and
impressionistic tendencies of Debussy and the exoticism of the
Neo-Russians--yet he is indeed no empty reflection of these men, for
he has his own bold, fantastic style and has been a daring
experimenter in freedom of harmony and structure. One finds a power of
ironic brilliance and of unexpected harmonic transformations certainly
new in modern literature. Ravel[302] is one of the most versatile and
prolific of all the younger Frenchmen having composed significant
works in at least four fields: songs, particularly the set entitled
_Histoires Naturelles_, which reveal an unusual instinct for delicate
description; and pianoforte pieces of which _Miroirs_, the dazzling
tour de force _Jeux d'eau_, the _Valses nobles et sentimentales_, the
_Sonatine_, the _Pavane_ and, above all, the Poems, _Gaspard de la
Nuit_ (_Ondine_, _Le Gibbet_[303] and _Scarbo_) are conspicuous
examples of his style. Furthermore in the field of chamber music are
found a String Quartet, remarkable for inspiration and for certainty
of workmanship, and a Trio (for pianoforte, violin and 'cello) which
is one of the most brilliant modern works, of convincing originality
in its freedom of rhythm, _e.g._, the opening measures of the first
movement.

[Music]

[Footnote 302: The best account of his works and style is to be found
in the volume _Maurice Ravel et son oeuvre_ by Roland Manuel.]

[Footnote 303: _Le Gibbet_ is without doubt the most realistic piece
of musical description in our time.]

Finally, for orchestra his _Spanish Rhapsody_ ranks with Chabrier's
_España_ and Debussy's _Ibéria_ as the acme of descriptive power and
of orchestral color. His _Mother Goose Suite_ (originally a set of
four-hand pieces but since orchestrated with incomparable finesse)
illustrates his humor and play of fancy. It has become a truly popular
concert number. Ravel's chef d'oeuvre the "choreographic symphony"
_Daphnis et Chloé_ displays an extraordinary synthetic grasp, for all
the factors--plot, action, the musical fabric, a large orchestra and a
chorus of mixed voices behind the scenes--are held together with a
master hand. This work ranks with Debussy's _Pelléas et Mélisande_ as
the most significant dramatic work of recent years.

It is evident, we trust, from the foregoing somewhat condensed
estimates that the modern French school is very much alive, that it
has to its credit numerous distinct achievements and that it contains
the promise of still further growth. The French nature, which is
highly emotional and yet, at its best, always controlled[304] by a
regard for fitness and clarity of thought, is particularly suited to
express itself worthily in music, for in no other form of artistic
endeavor is this balance more requisite. Music without emotion is, to
be sure, like "sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal" and dies in short
order. On the other hand, music which is a mere display of crude
emotion soon palls. The works of modern French composers deserve
enthusiastic study for their charm, their finish and their refined
emotional power.

[Footnote 304: Witness the wonderful manifestation of these qualities
by the French in the recent war.]




CHAPTER XIX

NATIONAL SCHOOLS--RUSSIAN, BOHEMIAN AND SCANDINAVIAN


Before beginning an account of Tchaikowsky, the most noted though not
necessarily the greatest of the Russian composers, a few words may be
said concerning nationalism in music, the chief representatives of
which are the Russians, the Bohemians, the Scandinavians and the
Hungarians. Of these, however, the present-day Russian School is the
most active and contributes constantly new factors to musical
evolution. This grafting of forms of expression derived from the
outlying nations on to the parent-stock of music--which for some
three hundred years had been in the exclusive control of Italy,
Germany and France--has been a stimulating factor in the development
of the last half-century. For the idiom of music was becoming somewhat
stereotyped, and it has been noticeably revitalized by the
incorporation of certain "exotic" traits, of which there run through
all national music these three: (1) the use, in their folk-songs, of
other forms of scale and mode than are habitual with ourselves; (2)
the preference given to the minor mode and the free commingling of
major and minor; (3) the great rhythmic variety and especially the use
of groups foreign to our musical sense, such as measures of 5 and 7
beats, and the intentional placing of the accent on parts of the
measure which with us are ordinarily unaccented. Every country has its
folk-songs--the product of national rather than individual genius--but
Russia, in the number and variety of these original melodies is most
exceptional. The Russian expresses himself spontaneously in song, and
so we find appropriate music for every activity or incident in daily
life: planting songs, reaping songs, boating songs, wedding songs,
funeral songs; Russian soldiers sing on the march and even enter upon
a desperate charge with songs on their lips. In certain battles of the
Crimean War this fact caused much comment from the English officers.
For many centuries the bulk of the Russian people has been
downtrodden; and the country, with its endless steppes and gloomy
climate, is hardly such as to call forth the sparkling vivacity found
in the Scandinavian and Hungarian songs. The prevalent mood in Russian
folk-songs is one of melancholy or of brooding, wistful
tenderness--very often in the old Greek modes, the Aeolian, Dorian and
Phrygian. From this we see the close connection existing between the
Russian and Greek Churches. The Russian liturgy is exceedingly old,
and Russian church music, always unaccompanied, has long been
celebrated for its dignified character, especially those portions
rendered by men's voices, which are capable of unusually low
notes,[305] as majestic as those of an organ.

[Footnote 305: In Grove's Dictionary, under Bass, occurs this
statement: This voice, found, or at least cultivated, only in Russia
is by special training made to descend to FF [Music].]

During the entire 18th century the development of music in Russia was
in the hands of imported Italians; the beginnings of a national type
being first made in the works of Glinka, born 1804. By the middle of
the 19th century two schools had arisen, the Neo-Russian group of
Balakireff, Borodin, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Moussorgsky, who
believed in the extreme development of national traits in melody,
rhythm and color; and a second group which was more cosmopolitan in
its tastes and believed that Russian music, without abandoning its
national flavor, could be written in a style of universal appeal. The
chief members of this group were Rubinstein and Tchaikowsky, and
distinguished pupils of the latter, in particular Rachmaninoff and
Glazounoff. To the world at large Tchaikowsky, of them all, has made
the strongest appeal; though he himself said that Rimsky-Korsakoff as
an orchestral colorist was more able, and certainly Moussorgsky has a
more strongly marked individuality. Tchaikowsky (1840-1893) like so
many of the Russian composers, began as a cultivated amateur who
showed no special musical gifts, save a sensitive nature and a general
fondness for the art. He studied in the school of jurisprudence and
won a post in the Ministry of Justice. In 1861, however, his musical
nature awaking with a bound, he gave up all official work and for the
sake of art faced a life of poverty. Under the teaching of Nicholas
Rubinstein at the Petrograd Conservatory he made such amazing progress
that in five years he himself was Professor of Harmony at Moscow and
had begun his long series of compositions--at first operas of merely
local fame. There now followed years of great activity spent in
teaching and composing--well-known works being the first String
Quartet and the Pianoforte Concerto in B-flat minor, first performed
by von Bülow at Boston in '88. At this period his health completely
broke down, the immediate cause being an unhappy marriage. He finally
rallied but had to travel abroad for a year, and for the rest of his
life his temper, never bright, was overcast with gloom. There now
entered Tchaikowsky's life Frau von Meck, the woman who played the
part of fairy godmother. She greatly admired his music, was wealthy
and generous and, that he might have entire leisure for composition,
settled upon him a liberal annuity. Their relationship is one of the
most remarkable in the annals of art; for, fearing that the ideal
would be shattered, they met but once, quite by accident, and
Tchaikowsky was "acutely embarrassed." We have a lengthy and
impassioned correspondence, and Tchaikowsky's 4th Symphony, dedicated
"à mon meilleur ami," is the result of this friendship. In 1891,
invited to New York for the dedication of Carnegie Hall, he made his
memorable American tour. His success was genuine, and was the
beginning of the popularity his music has always enjoyed in this
country. For several years Tchaikowsky had been working at his Sixth
Symphony, to which he himself gave the distinctive title "Pathetic."
This work ends with one of the saddest dirges in all literature,
although Tchaikowsky, during its composition, as we know from his
letters, had never been in a happier state of mind or worked more
passionately and freely. He himself says, "I consider it the best,
especially the most open-hearted of all my works." When, however, he
suddenly died in 1893, there were rumors of suicide, but it is now
definitely settled that his death was caused by cholera.[306]

[Footnote 306: The writer had this statement from the lips of
Tchaikowsky's own brother, Modeste.]

To turn now to his achievements, it may be asserted that Tchaikowsky
was marvellously versatile, composing in every form save for the
organ; for productiveness, only Mozart, Schubert and Liszt can be
compared with him. His works comprise eight operas, six symphonies,
six symphonic poems, three overtures, four orchestral suites, two
pianoforte concertos, a violin concerto, three string quartets, a
wonderful trio, about one hundred songs and a large number of
pianoforte pieces. In addition he made several settings of the Russian
liturgy and edited many volumes of church music. Whatever may be the
final estimate of his music, it assuredly has great vogue at present,
for it is an intense expression of that mental and spiritual unrest so
characteristic of our times. As Byron was said to have but one
subject, himself, so all Tchaikowsky's music is the message of his
highly emotional and feverish sensibility. He is invariably eloquent
in the presentation of his material, although the thoughts are often
slight and the impression made not lasting. He pours out his emotions
with the impulsiveness and abandon so characteristic of his race, and
this lack of serenity, of restraint, is surely his gravest weakness.
We are reminded by his music of a fire which either glows fitfully or
bursts forth into a fierce uncontrolled blaze, but where a steady
white heat is too often missing. His style has been concisely
described as fiery exultation on a basis of languid melancholy. To all
this we may retort that what he lacks in profundity and firm control,
he makes up in spontaneity, wealth of imagination and, above all,
warmth of color. It is illogical to expect his music to be different
from what it is. He expressed himself sincerely and his style is the
direct outcome of his own temperament plus his nationality.
Tchaikowsky was widely read in modern literature--Dickens and
Thackeray being favorite authors--and had travelled much. The breadth
of his cultivation is shown in the subjects of his symphonic poems and
the texts of his songs, which are from Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe and
Bryon. However much estimates may differ as to the import of
Tchaikowsky's message, he is universally recognized as a superb
"colorist," one of the masters of modern orchestral treatment; who, by
his subtle feeling for richness and variety of tone, has enlarged the
means of musical expression. This is especially shown in the
characteristic use he makes of the orchestra in its lower ranges. As
Brahms, for depth of thought, was compared with Browning, so
Tchaikowsky may well be likened to such poets as Shelley and
Swinburne, so exquisite is his instinct for tonal beauty and for
delicacy of shading. At times, to be sure, he fairly riots in gorgeous
colors--this being the result of his Slavic blood--but few composers
have been able to achieve such brilliancy without becoming vulgar.

As to the charge of pessimism often made against Tchaikowsky, he was a
thinker, an explorer into the mysteries of human aspiration and
disappointment,[307] and his music seems weighted down with the riddle
of the universe. This introspective dejection, however, is a natural
result of his temperament and his nationality. If to us of a more
hopeful outlook upon life it seems morbid, we should simply remember
that our conditions have been different. A distinction must likewise
be made between the expression of such feelings in art and their
influence in actual life. As a man Tchaikowsky was practical,
conscientious, and did not in the least allow his feelings to
emasculate him. He was a prodigious worker and throughout his career,
in the face of ill health and many adverse circumstances, showed
immense courage. His creed was no ignoble one--"To regret the past, to
hope in the future, and never to be satisfied with the present; this
is my life." And to a gushing patroness of art who asked him what were
his ideals, his simple reply was "My ideal is to become a good
composer." Certain English critics in their fault-finding have been
particularly boresome, because, forsooth, Tchaikowsky's music does not
show the serenity of Brahms or the solidity or stolidity of their own
composers. To the well-fed and prosperous Briton "God's in his Heaven,
all's right with the world" is hardly an expression of faith, but a
certainty of existence. Not so with the Russian, upon whom the
oppression of centuries has left its stamp. This same note of gloomy
or even morbid introspection is found in some of the great literature
of the world--in the Bible, the Greek Tragedies and in Shakespeare.
Granted that optimism is the only working creed for every-day life,
until the millenium arrives a sincere and artistic expression of the
sorrows of humanity will always strike a note in oppressed souls.

[Footnote 307: See the passage from his diary (quoted on page 504 of
the _Biography_ by his brother) in which he writes--"What touching
love and compassion for mankind lie in these words: 'Come unto me, all
ye that labor and are heavy laden!' In comparison with these simple
words all the Psalms of David are as nothing."]

Each of Tchaikowsky's last three symphonies is a remarkable work. The
Fourth is most characteristically Russian and certainly the most
striking in its uncompromising directness of expression. The first
movement announces a recurrent, intensely subjective motto typical of
that impending Fate which would not allow Tchaikowsky happiness.[308]
The slow movement is based upon a Russian folk song of a melancholy
beauty, sung by the oboe, and another, already cited (see Chapter II,
p. 33), is incorporated in the Finale. The Scherzo is unique as an
orchestral _tour de force_; for, with the exception of a short middle
portion for wood-wind and brass, it is for the string orchestra
playing pizzicato throughout. The effect is extremely fantastic and
resembles that of ghosts flitting about in their stocking-feet or of
sleep-chasings, to use Whitman's expression.[309] The Finale is a riot
of natural, primitive joy, a picture--as the composer says--of a
popular festivity. "When you find no joy within you, go among the
people, see how fully they give themselves up to joyous feelings."
Fate sounds its warning, but in vain; nothing can repress the
exultation of the composer. "Enjoy the joy of others and--you still
can live." The work is sensational, even trivial in places; but it
reveals sincerity and elemental life. The composer lays himself bare
and we see a real man--not a masked hypocrite--with all his joys and
sorrows, caught, as Henley would say, "in the fell clutch of
circumstance," bludgeoned by Fate.

[Footnote 308: See the detailed program by the composer himself, cited
in Nieck's _Program Music_.]

[Footnote 309: For this simile I am indebted to Mr. Philip Hale.]

The Sixth Symphony, the Pathetic, is the most popular and, on the
whole, Tchaikowsky's most sustained work. It owes its hold upon public
esteem to the eloquent way in which it presents that "maladie du
siècle" which, in all modern art,[310] is such a prominent note. The
mood may be a morbid one but we cannot mistake the conviction with
which it is treated. The work is likewise significant because of the
novel grouping of movements. The first is in complete sonata form and
for finished architecture will stand comparison with any use of that
form. The themes are eloquent, well contrasted and organically
developed. The orchestration is a masterpiece.[311] The second
movement is the one famous for its use of five beats a measure
throughout; and its trio, on a persistent pedal note D, is a striking
example of the Russian tendency to become fairly obsessed with one
rhythm. It is an intentional, artistic use of monotony and may be
compared to the limitless Russian Steppes. If it seem strange to
Western Europeans, it should be remembered that the music is Russian
and portrays a mood perfectly natural to that people. The third
movement is a combination of a scherzo and a march--of a most
unbridled fury. The Finale is a threnody, one of overpowering grief,
the motto of which might be "vanity of vanities, all is vanity." It
abounds in soul-stirring orchestral eloquence and invariably makes a
deep impression.

[Footnote 310: For further comment see the Life of Tchaikowsky by Rosa
Newmarch.]

[Footnote 311: As may be seen by the number of illustrations from it
in text books!]

For special comment we have selected Tchaikowsky's[312] Fifth Symphony
in E minor since, being a union of Russian and Italian characteristics,
it reveals that eclecticism so prominent in his style. It is also an
admirable example of organic relationship between the movements. This
symphony, like the Fourth, contains a recurrent motto of sombre nature
in the minor mode which, appearing in the first three movements with
some dramatic implication, is changed in the Finale to the major and
used as the basis for a march of rejoicing. The first and last
movements are in elaborate sonata-form; the second and third in
three-part form. The Finale is one of the most striking examples in
modern literature of a _résumé_ of preceding themes and hence a
convincing proof of the composer's constructive power. The symphony
begins with a long prelude announcing the motto. Scored for clarinets,
bassoons and low strings it shows vividly that peculiar impression
which Tchaikowsky secured by using the lower ranges of the orchestra.

[Footnote 312: The authoritative work on Tchaikowsky is _The Life and
Letters_ by his brother Modeste; the abridged biography by Rosa
Newmarch should also be read. There are excellent essays in
_Mezzotints in Modern Music_ by Huneker; in Streatfield's volume
_Modern Composers_ and in Mason's _From Grieg to Brahms_.]

[Music]

The melody itself seldom moves above middle C, and its effect is
enhanced by the quality of the clarinets in their chalumeau register.
The first theme of the movement proper (beginning at the Allegro con
anima), on the same harmonic basis as the motto and derived from it
rhythmically, is given out _pp_ by a solo clarinet and solo bassoon,
accompanied by very light detached chords in the strings, _e.g._

[Music]

This is elaborately and brilliantly developed until, in measure 79
(counting from the Allegro), we reach a transitional, subsidiary theme
in B minor. This is followed by some striking sequences, exquisitely
scored, and then (at un pochettino più animato) there is a quickened
presentation of the transitional theme, interspersed by syncopated
calls--on the horns and wood-wind--a presentation which introduces the
second theme in D major, marked molto più tranquillo. This melody,
sung by the violins against an obbligato in the wood-wind, is clearly
Italian in its grace and suavity and establishes that wonderful
contrast so prominent in Tchaikowsky--the warmth and exuberance of the
South set against the grim austerity of the North.

[Music]

This theme, expanded (stringendo and crescendo) into a series of
exciting climaxes _fff_ leads, after some modulatory phrases derived
from the transitional theme, to the Development which begins in B-flat
major. Throughout this is a fine piece of work--with real thematic
growth, bold modulations and no "padding." It should refute completely
any erroneous opinion that Tchaikowsky was lacking in power of organic
treatment. The connection between the Development and the
Recapitulation is skilfully managed and the third part does not bore
us but is welcomed as something we would gladly hear again. There is a
long and stormy Coda--a second development in true Beethoven
style--which finally ends _ppp_ in the lowest depths of the orchestra,
in the same mood as the opening measures.

The second movement, Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza, with its
melting theme on the solo horn, _e.g._,

[Music]

--accompanied later by answering phrases on the clarinet--might seem a
bit too "luscious" were it not for the beauty and finish of the
orchestration. The movement is in rather loose three-part form--as the
title would imply--the joints being somewhat obvious in certain
places, _e.g._, measures 39-45. The themes, however, have that
intensity peculiar to Tchaikowsky, and the original orchestral
treatment, especially in the use of the horns, enhances their effect.
The middle contrasting portion, starting in F-sharp minor, shows some
very effective polyphonic imitations based on the following theme:

[Music]

At the climax of its development the motto is proclaimed _fff_ in a
most arresting manner--its effect being due to the unusual pedal point
which makes a chord of the second with the upper voices, _e.g._,

[Music]

The third part with slight expansions corresponds to the first. At its
close, just before the Coda, we have a second appearance of the
motto--this time, on account of the fierce dissonances, with even more
sinister effect.[313] The closing measures are of great beauty by
reason of the imitations on the strings and the dreamy, reminiscent
phrase on the clarinets, _e.g._

[Music]

[Footnote 313: The passage has already been cited in Chapter IV as an
example of a deceptive cadence.]

The third movement, a Waltz, with a graceful theme, in clear-cut
three-part form, needs little comment. If any one considers it too
light or even trivial for a place in a symphony he might study the
individual orchestration and then try to compose one like it! The
second and third parts are ingeniously fused together--Tchaikowsky
following the practise of Mozart, his favorite master, in the first
movement of the G minor Symphony. In the Russian philosophy of life,
however, there is no such thing as perpetual joy; so, even amid scenes
of festivity, the motto obtrudes itself as if to ask "What right have
you to be dancing when life is so stern and grim?" See measures 23-28
from end of movement.

[Music]

The Finale, in complete sonata-form and laid out on a large scale, for
several reasons is of distinct significance. It is a carefully planned
_résumé_ of preceding themes; it contains several examples of those
periods of depression or exultation (especially on a pedal-point) so
characteristic of the Slav, and lastly, there are pages of extreme
brilliancy. In fact, the orchestration throughout is of such
convincing power that it refutes any charge of sensationalism or mere
bombast. If to us the music seem unrestrained, unbridled, we are to
remember that the Russian temperament is prone to a reckless display
of emotion just as in their churches they like to "lay the colors on
thick." The movement begins with an extended prelude in which the
original sombre motto is transformed into a stately, march-like theme.
This is presented twice with continually richer scoring and more
rhythmic animation. The closing measures of the prelude are a specific
instance of that protracted mood of depression spoken of above. The
movement proper begins at the Allegro vivace with a fierce,
impassioned theme,

[Music]

which leads, in measure 25, to a subsidiary theme treated at first in
free double counterpoint[314] and later canonically.

[Music]

[Footnote 314: By double counterpoint is meant such a grouping of the
voices that they may be inverted (the upper voice becoming the lower
and vice versa) and sound equally well. For further comments, together
with illustrative examples, consult Chapter IX of Spalding's _Tonal
Counterpoint_.]

[Music]

This is developed with more and more animation until the announcement,
in measure 71, of the second theme in D major. Here we see the first
instance of that organic relationship for which the movement is noted;
for this theme

[Music]

is evidently derived by rhythmic modification from that of the
preceding slow movement. It is brilliantly expanded and leads
directly--there being no double bar and repeat--to the development in
measure 115. This part of the movement evades description; it is
throughout most eloquent and exciting. In measures 153-160 all the
bells of Russia seem to be pealing! With measure 177 begins (marcato
largamente) an impressive treatment in the bass of the second theme,
answered shortly after in the upper voice. This is developed to a
climax which, in turn, is followed by one of those long periods of
"cooling down" which prepare us for the Recapitulation in measure
239. This corresponds exactly with the Exposition, ending with two
passages (poco meno mosso and molto vivace),--based upon the rhythm of
the motto--which usher in the long, elaborate Coda. This begins,
maestoso, with an impressive statement of the march theme, scored in
brilliant fashion, with rushing figures in the wood-wind instruments.
It seems to portray some ceremonial in a vast cathedral with trumpets
blaring and banners flying. A still more gorgeous treatment (marziale,
energico, con tutta forza) leads to the Presto based on the subsidiary
theme (cited on page 312), which fairly carries us off our feet. The
last portion of the Coda (molto meno mosso) is an animated yet
dignified proclamation of the main theme of the first movement--the
work thus concluding with an unmistakable effect of unity.

[Music]

The subject of Russian music[315] is too vast for any adequate
treatment within the limits of a single book, but there are several
other composers in addition to Tchaikowsky of such individuality and
remarkable achievement as to warrant some notice. These men,
Balakireff, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Moussorgsky, have done for
the free expression of the Russian temperament in music what Pushkin,
Gogol and Dostoyevsky represent in literature. "To understand fully
the tendencies of Neo-Russian music, and above all to sympathize with
the spirit in which this music is written, the incredible history of
Holy Russia, the history of its rulers and people--the mad caprices
and horrid deeds of the Romanoffs, who, in centuries gone by,
surpassed in restless melancholy and atrocity the insane Caesars, and
were more to be pitied, as well as detested, than Tiberius or
Nero--the nature of the landscape, the waste of steppes, the
dreariness of winter, and the loneliness of summer--the barbaric
extravagance of aristocratic life--the red tape, extortion, and
cruelty of officers--the sublime patience of the common people--the
devotion of the enduring, starving multitude to the Tsar--all this
should be as familiar as a twice-told tale. There should also be a
knowledge of Russian literature, from the passion of Pushkin and the
irony of Gogol, to Turgenieff's tales of life among the serfs, and the
novels of Tolstoi, in which mysticism and realism are strangely
blended. Inasmuch as Neo-Russian music is founded upon the folk-songs
of that country, one should know first of all the conditions that made
such songs possible, and one should breathe the atmosphere in which
musicians who have used such songs have worked."[316]

[Footnote 315: The most authoritative work in English is the _History
of Russian Music_ by Montagu-Nathan; in French there are the Essays
_Musiques de Russie_ by Bruneau.]

[Footnote 316: Quoted from the chapter on Russian music in _Famous
Composers and Their Works_ (2d series).]

The first real leader after the wholesome beginnings made by Glinka
(with his operas, _A Life for the Czar_ and _Ludmilla_) was Balakireff
(1837-1910) who finding his country almost entirely under the dominion
of Italian and German music, proclaimed the doctrine that Russia, with
its wealth of folk-songs and its undoubted emotional power should
create its own music. Like many of the Russians Balakireff was an
amateur, but in the true sense of that term, _i.e._, he loved music
for its own sake. He therefore set to work vigorously to combat
foreign influences and to manifest in original works a spirit true to
his own genius and to the tendencies of his native land. Though
educated as a lawyer he had acquired through a study of Mozart,
Berlioz and Liszt a thorough technique and so was equipped to put into
practise his watchword which was individual liberty. "I believe in the
subjective, not in the objective power of music," he said to his
pupils. "Objective music may strike us with its brilliancy, but its
achievement remains the handiwork of a mediocre talent. Mediocre or
merely talented musicians are eager to produce effects, but the ideal
of a genius is to reproduce his very self, in unison with the object
of his art. There is no doubt that art requires technique, but it
must be absolutely unconscious and individual.... Often the greatest
pieces of art are rather rude technically, but they grip the soul and
command attention for intrinsic values. This is apparent in the works
of Michelangelo, of Shakespeare, of Turgenieff, and of Mozart. The
beauty that fascinates us most is that which is most individual. I
regard technique as a necessary but subservient element. It may,
however, become dangerous and kill individuality as it has done with
those favorites of our public, whose virtuosity I despise more than
mere crudities." Balakireff's actual works are few in number since he
spent most of his time in organizing schools of music and in teaching
others; but in those works which we have[317] there is a strong note
of freedom not to be missed. His Symphonic Poem _Tamara_ and his
fantasy for pianoforte _Islamey_ are remarkable for that semi-oriental
exotic spirit so prevalent in Russian music. Many of his songs also
are of genuine beauty.

[Footnote 317: Towards the end of his life he destroyed many of his
compositions.]

Borodin (1834-1887) is the ne plus ultra example of that versatility
in which the modern Russian School is unique. As a surgeon and doctor
he enjoyed a high position; as a chemist he made original researches
and wrote treatises which were recognized as distinct contributions to
science; he was one of the earliest scholars in the world to advocate
that women should have the same education as men and was one of the
founders (about 1870) of a medical school for women in Petrograd. So
tireless was he in these varied activities, it seems a miracle that he
could also become one of the best pianists of his time (he played well
also the violin and the flute) and according to Liszt,[318] one of the
most able orchestral masters of the nineteenth century. But as
evidence of this amazing fact are his works, comprising two symphonies
(the second in B minor often heard in this country) two string
quartets, the first strikingly original, thematically, harmonically
and in idiomatic use of the instruments; a small Suite for pianoforte,
of which the Serenade is cited in the Supplement; an opera, _Le Prince
Igor_--remarkable for its picturesque description and Oriental
coloring, of which the composer himself said "Prince Igor is
essentially a national opera, which can be of interest only to us
Russians who love to refresh our patriotism at the sources of our
history and to see the origins of our nationality live again upon the
stage;" a symphonic poem _Dans les Steppes de l'Asie centrale_
and--showing some of his most characteristic work--the _Paraphrases_
written in collaboration with Korsakoff, Liadoff and Cui as a kind of
musical joke. This composition,[319] a set of twenty-four variations
founded on the tune popularly known as "chop-sticks" is dedicated "to
little pianists capable of executing the theme with a finger of each
hand." For the paraphrases themselves a player of considerable
technique is required. In Borodin's style we always find a glowing
color-scheme of Slavic and Oriental elements. As a modern Russian
composer says, "It is individually descriptive and extremely
modern--so modern that the audience of to-day will not be able to
grasp all its intrinsic beauties."

[Footnote 318: For a delightful account of the friendship of these two
composers consult the volume _Borodin and Liszt_ by Alfred Habets
(translated by Rosa Newmarch).]

[Footnote 319: According to Liszt "a compendium of musical science in
the form of a jest."]

The most widely known and in many respects the most gifted of the
Neo-Russian group is Rimsky-Korsakoff (1844-1908). He has been aptly
characterized as the Dégas or Whistler of music, and for his
marvellous powers of description, especially of the sea, and for his
command of orchestral tone-painting he is considered the storyteller
par excellence in modern music. As in the case of Borodin we are
filled with amazement at the power of work and the versatility in
Korsakoff's nature. For many years he was an officer in the Russian
navy and throughout his life was involved with official duties. Yet he
found time for a number of compositions of originality and finished
workmanship. These comprise the symphonic poems _Antar_, _Sadko_ and
_Scheherazade_;[320] a _Spanish Caprice_ for full orchestra; twelve
operas of which the best known in this country is the fascinating _Le
Coq d'Or_; a concerto for pianoforte and orchestra; a large number of
songs and many choruses for men's and women's voices. His treatises on
harmony and orchestration are standard works, the latter being the
authority in modern treatment of the orchestra. His _Scheherazade_ is
undoubtedly the most brilliant descriptive work in modern literature,
for an account of which we quote the eloquent words of Philip Hale.

[Footnote 320: This work in structure is a Suite, _i.e._, there are
four distinct, separated movements.]

"_Scheherazade_ (Op. 35) is a suite inspired by the Arabian Nights.
The Sultan, persuaded of the falseness and faithlessness of woman, had
sworn to put every one of his wives to death in turn after the first
night. But Scheherazade saved her life by interesting him in the
stories she told him for a thousand and one nights. Many marvels were
told by her in Rimsky-Korsakoff's fantastic poem,--marvels and tales
of adventure: 'The Sea and Sinbad's Ship'; 'The Story of the Three
Kalandars'; 'The Young Prince and the Young Princess'; 'The Festival
at Bagdad'; 'The Ship that went to pieces against a rock surmounted by
a bronze warrior.' As in Berlioz's _Fantastic Symphony_, so in this
suite, there is a theme which keeps appearing in all four movements.
For the most part it is given to a solo violin. It is a free melodic
phrase in Oriental bravura, gently ending in a free cadenza. There is
no development of themes in this strange work. There is constant
repetition in different tonalities; there is an exceedingly skillful
blending of timbres; there is a keen sense of possible orchestral
effects. A glance at the score shows how sadly the pedagogue might go
astray in judgment of the work, without a hearing of it, and
furthermore, the imagination of the hearer must be in sympathy with
the imagination of the composer, if he would know full enjoyment: for
this symphonic poem provokes swooning thoughts, such as come to the
partakers of leaves and flowers of hemp; there are the stupefying
perfumes of charred frankincense and grated sandal-root. The music
comes to the listener of western birth and mind, as the Malay who
knocked among English mountains at De Quincey's door. You learn of
Sinbad, the explorer, who is nearer to us than Nansen; of the Kalandar
Prince who spent a mad evening with the porter and the three ladies of
Bagdad, and told of his incredible adventures; and Scheherazade, the
narrator, she too is merely a shape in a dream; she fades away, and
her soul dies on the high note exhaled by the wondering violin.

"The melody of this Russian is wild, melancholy, exotic; a droning
such as falls from the lips of white-bearded, turbaned, venerable men,
garrulous in the sun; and then again, there is the reckless chatter of
the babbler in the market-place, heated with unmixed wine."

The most boldly individual of all Russian composers is
Moussorgsky[321] (1831-1881). Although of intense inspiration and of
uncompromising ideals his musical education was so incomplete that his
technique was inadequate for the expression of his message. As the
French critic, Arthur Pougin well says, "His works bizarre though they
be, formless as they often are, have in them a force of expression and
a dramatic accent of which no one can deny the intensity. It would be
unjust to pretend that he spoke for the purpose of saying nothing;
unfortunately he is too often satisfied with merely stammering." As
Moussorgsky himself says: "Art is a means of talking with men; it is
not an end. Starting with the principle that human speech is subject
to musical laws, I see in music, not only the expression of sentiment
by means of sound, but especially the notation of a human language."
In fact the dominant idea of his music was to bring it into closer
relation with actual life.

[Footnote 321: For biographical information consult the volume by
Montagu-Nathan.]

"In order to understand Moussorgsky's work and his attitude towards
art, it is necessary to realise the social conditions under which he
lived. He was a true child of the sixties, of that period of moral and
intellectual ferment which followed the accession of Alexander II and
the emancipation of the serfs. Of the little group of composers then
striving to give musical expression to their newly awakened
nationality, none was so entirely carried away by the literary and
political movements of the time as Moussorgsky. Every man was asking
himself and his comrades the question posed by the most popular novel
of the day: 'What shall we do?' The answer was: 'Throw aside social
and artistic conventions. Make art the hand-maiden of humanity. Seek
not for beauty but for truth. Go to the people. Hold out the hand of
fellowship to the liberated masses and learn from them the true
purpose of life.' To this democratic and utilitarian spirit, to this
deep compassion for the people, to this contempt for the dandyism and
dilettantism of an earlier generation Moussorgsky strove to give
expression in his music, as Perov expressed it in painting, as
Tchernichevsky, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoi expressed it in fiction. We
may disagree with his aesthetic principles, but we must confess that
he carried out with logical sequence and conviction a considerable
portion of his programme. In his sincere efforts to attain great ends
he undoubtedly overlooked the means. He could never submit to the
discipline of a thorough musical training as Tchaikowsky and
Rimsky-Korsakoff. He preserved his originality intact, but at a heavy
cost. The weakness of his technique has been exaggerated by those who
put down all his peculiarities to ignorance; but in some
respects--particularly as regards orchestration--his craftsmanship was
certainly unequal to the demands of his inspiration, for his aims were
very lofty. Had this been otherwise, Moussorgsky's name would have
been more closely linked with those of Berlioz and Richard
Strauss."[322]

[Footnote 322: Quoted from the article in Grove's Dictionary.]

His acknowledged masterpieces are first, the songs, especially the
series the _Nursery_ and the _Songs and Dances of Death_, in which we
see mirrored with extraordinary fidelity the complex nature of the
Russian people. Rosa Newmarch has called him the Juvenal of musicians.
Second, his national music drama, _Boris Godounoff_--dealing with one
of the most sensational episodes in Russian history--which, for the
gripping vividness of its descriptions, is quite unparalleled.

"_Boris Godounoff_, finished in 1870, was performed four years later
in the Imperial Opera House. The libretto of this opera he took from
the poetic drama of Pushkin, but he changed it, eliminating much and
adding new scenes here and there, so that as a whole it is his own
creation. In this work Moussorgsky went against the foreign classic
opera in conception as well as in construction. It is a typically
Russian music-drama, with all the richness of Slavic colors, true
Byzantine atmosphere and characters of the medieval ages. Based on
Russian history of about the middle of the seventeenth century, when
an adventurous regent ascends the throne and when the court is full of
intrigues, its theme stands apart from all other operas. The music is
more or less, like many of Moussorgsky's songs, written in imitation
of the old folk-songs, folk dances, ceremonial chants, and festival
tunes. Foreign critics have considered the opera as a piece
constructed of folk melodies. But this is not the case. There is not a
single folk melody in Boris Godounoff, every phrase is the original
creation of Moussorgsky."[323]

[Footnote 323: Quoted from the _Art of Music_, Vol. III.]

In concluding this account of Russian music let the statement be
repeated that only by a thorough knowledge of the life and character
of this strange yet gifted people can their music be understood. It is
necessary therefore to become acquainted with Russian literature and
pictorial art--with the works of Gogol, Tolstoi and Dostoyevsky and
the paintings of Perov and Veretschagin. In this way only will be made
clear what is otherwise inexplicable--the depth and sincerity of the
Russian soul.

The other two prominent national schools in modern times are the
Bohemian and Scandinavian. Although from neither of these have we
products at all comparable in breadth; or depth of meaning with those
of the Russian school, yet each has its note of exotic individuality
and hence deserves recognition. The Bohemian School centres about the
achievements of Fibich, Smetana[324] and Dvo[vr]ák, and its prevalent
characteristics are the variety of dance rhythms (Bohemia having no
less than forty national dances) together with the peculiarly novel
harmonic and modulatory scheme. The dances best known outside of
Bohemia are the _Polka_[325] and the _Furiant_; the former being used
so frequently by Smetana and Dvo[vr]ák that it has attained an
international status. The first of the above group, Fibich
(1850-1900), was a composer of marked versatility--there being extant
over seven hundred works in every form--and no little originality.
Many of his pianoforte pieces have distinct charm and atmosphere and
should be better known. Fibich was strongly influenced by Schumann,
and there is found in his music the same note of fantastic freedom
prominent in the German master. But the first impression of Bohemian
music upon the world in general was made by Smetana (1824-1884). An
ardent follower of Liszt, he definitely succeeded in the incorporation
of Bohemian traits with the current musical idiom just as Liszt had
done with Hungarian folk-music. Smetana's style is thoroughly
original, his form is free yet coherent and he has a color sense and
power of orchestral description peculiar to his race. Bohemia is one
of the most picturesque countries in the world and the spirit of its
woodlands, streams and mountains is always plainly felt in Bohemian
music. The Bohemians are an out-of-door people with an inborn instinct
for music (with its basic factors of rhythm and sound) by which they
express the vigorous exuberance of their temperament.[326] Smetana's
significant work lies in his numerous operas, his symphonic poems and
in the remarkable String Quartet in E minor entitled "Aus meinem
Leben." The operas deal with subjects so strongly national that they
can have but little vogue outside their own country. However, _Prodana
Nevesta_--_The Bartered Bride_--has been universally recognized as one
of the genuine comic operas in modern times and its spirited Overture
(the first theme on a fugal basis) is played the world over. His six
Symphonic Poems, comprised under the title _Mein Vaterland_, are works
of considerable power and brilliant orchestral treatment. Perhaps the
finest sections are _Vltava_ (Moldau), celebrating the beauties of
Bohemia's sacred river, and _Vy[vs]ehrad_, a realistic description of
the national fortress at Prague.[327] The Quartet in E minor, noted
for its freedom and intimacy of style, has become a classic. Whenever
it was performed Smetana wished the sub-title "Aus Meinem Leben" to be
printed on the program; for, as he says in a letter to a friend, "My
quartet is no mere juggling with tones; instead I have wished to
present the hearer with pictures of my life. I have studied theory; I
know what style means and I am master of it. But I prefer to have
circumstances determine form and so have written this quartet in the
form which it itself demanded." In the first and last of the four
movements there is a long sustained high E, symbolic of the buzzing
sound which the composer constantly heard as his congenital deafness
increased. This malady finally affected his mind and was the cause of
his tragic death in an asylum at Prague.

[Footnote 324: His surname is to be accented on the first syllable--a
fact which may be remembered from the story attributed to Liszt who,
once asking Smetana how his name was to be pronounced received this
reply: My name is always

[Music: _Overture to Fidelio_

Smétana, Smétana, Smétana]

but never

[Music: _Overture to Leonora, No. 3_

Friedrich Smetána Friedrich Smetána.]]

[Footnote 325: For example in the second movement of Smetana's Quartet
and in Dvo[vr]ák's Suite for small orchestra, op. 39.]

[Footnote 326: For a graphic description of the country and the
customs of its people consult the essay on Dvo[vr]ák in Hadow's
_Studies in Modern Music_.]

[Footnote 327: A detailed account of these works may be found in the
article on Smetana in _Famous Composers and their Works_ (2d series).]

Although in some respects not so characteristic as Smetana,
Dvo[vr]ák[328] (1841-1904), by reason of his greater breadth and more
cosmopolitan style, is considered the representative Bohemian
composer. Dvo[vr]ák's music in its simplicity and in its spontaneity
of treatment is a reincarnation of Schubert's spirit; we feel the same
overflowing musical life and we must make the same allowances for
looseness of structure. Dvo[vr]ák, however, has made one contribution
thoroughly his own--his skill in handling the orchestra. He was a born
colorist and his scores in their clarity, in the subtle distinctions
between richness and delicacy, are recognized masterpieces. As a
sensuous delight to the ear they may be compared to the fine glow of
certain Dutch canvases--those for example of Vermeer. Dvo[vr]ák's
compositions are varied and fairly numerous (some 111 opus numbers)
comprising operas, cantatas, chamber music, symphonies, overtures,
pianoforte pieces and songs. From 1892 to 1895 he was in this country
as director of the National Conservatory in New York. Three works
composed during this period, a _Quartet_, a _Quintet_ and _The New
World Symphony_, are of special interest to us since they were meant
as a compliment to the possibilities of American music and also
reflect Dvo[vr]ák's attitude toward the sources of musical
inspiration. A true child of the people, and the embodiment of
folk-music, he naturally searched for native material when he wished
to compose something characteristically American. But folk-music in
our country, as has been stated in Chapter II, is (or was at
Dvo[vr]ák's time) practically limited to that of the Indians and the
Negroes. It is often stated, in fact, that the New World Symphony is
founded upon Negro tunes. This, however, is a sweeping assertion.
There is no doubt that Dvo[vr]ák found a strong affinity between
certain of the Southern plantation melodies and the songs of his
native land, _e.g._, the following melody (the second theme of the
first movement) which is similar to "Swing low, sweet chariot."

[Music]

[Footnote 328: For his biography, consult the Hadow essay (referred to
above) and the chapter on Dvo[vr]ák in Mason's _From Grieg to
Brahms_.]

But the individual tone of the melodies could come only from a
Bohemian and if they seem both Negro and Bohemian it simply proves the
common bond existing in all folk-music.[329] This _New World Symphony_
has had a great vogue and by reason of the warmth of its melodies and
the rich, colorful scoring is indisputably a work full of charm.[330]
Two prevalent traits of Dvo[vr]ák's music are noticeable in this
symphony--the unexpectedness of the modulations and the unusual
harmonic scheme.[331] The structure is at times rather loose,
particularly in the Finale where the joints often crack wide open.
But, as an offset, there is great rhythmic vitality--observe in
particular the swing of the Trio from the Scherzo--and that sensuous
tone-color peculiar to the composer. In fact, the scoring of the slow
movement with its magical theme for English horn would alone
compensate for many structural blemishes. This movement closes with a
mysterious chord for divided double basses (four solo instruments)
which is one of many touches in individual treatment. The Finale, in
accordance with modern practise, although containing themes of its
own, finally becomes a _résumé_ of preceding material. The two main
themes are striking and well contrasted; but Dvo[vr]ák was a mediocre
architect and the movement, in comparison with the Finales of Franck
and Tchaikowsky, is more of a potpourri than a firmly knit organic
whole. The final page is stimulating in its bold use of dissonances.
But we must take Dvo[vr]ák as he is. There is no question of his
genius, for his music is spontaneous, never labored, and he has
expressed with convincing artistic skill the emotions and ideals of
his gifted race.

[Footnote 329: The author has heard this symphony played in Prague and
other continental cities under Bohemian conductors. It is always
welcomed as being thoroughly characteristic of Bohemia.]

[Footnote 330: For detailed analytical comment consult Vol. III of
_Short Studies in Great Masterpieces_ by D.G. Mason.]

[Footnote 331: Note for example the chords at the opening of the slow
movement.]

Scandinavian music, ethnologically considered, would comprise that of
the three related nations, the Swedes, the Danes and the Norwegians;
some would include even the Finns, with their eloquent spokesman
Sibelius. Although the Danes have considerable folk-music, and as a
people love music, they have produced no composer of distinction save
Niels Gade (1817-1890), who was so encrusted with German habits of
thought that his music is neither one thing or the other--certainly it
is not characteristically Danish. The best known of the Swedish
composers is Sjögren from whom we have some poetic songs. He also
attempted the larger instrumental forms but without notable success.

Scandinavian music, as far as the outside world is concerned,
practically centres about the Norwegian composer Grieg[332]
(1843-1907) just as its dramatic art centres about Ibsen. The names,
however, of four other Norwegian composers deserve mention: the
pioneers Kjerulf (1815-1868) noted for his melodious songs; Svendsen
(1840-1911) endowed with a fine sense for orchestral color; and
Nordraak (1842-1866) the first self-conscious representative of the
Norwegian spirit: a talented musician who exerted a marked influence
upon Grieg--his promise cut short by an early death. In modern times
the mantle of Grieg has fallen upon Sinding (1856-still living) whose
songs and poetic pieces for the pianoforte have become household
favorites. In Norwegian music we find the exuberant rhythmic vitality
typical of a people living in the bold and highly colored scenery of
that sun-lit land.[333] Grieg, a born lyric poet saturated with
folk-music, has embodied this spirit in his works. His fame rests upon
his songs and descriptive pianoforte pieces; though in his Pianoforte
Concerto, in his Peer Gynt Suite, in the Violin Sonatas and String
Quartet he proved that he was not lacking in power to handle larger
forms. But most of his work is in miniature--the expression, like the
music of Schubert and Chopin,[334] of moods short and intense. While
Grieg's music is patterned upon Norwegian folk-dances and
folk-melodies it is something far more. He has evoked from the
characteristics of his native land a bold, original harmony and a
power of color and description thoroughly his own. He might say with
de Musset "Mon verre n'est pas grand, mais je bois dans mon verre." In
his music we feel the sparkling sunshine and the breezes of the North.
In fact, Grieg was the first popular impressionist and for his
influence in humanizing music and freeing it from academic routine his
fame will endure. We have cited in the Supplement (Nos. 68, 69) one of
his most original songs--the melody of which was used also for the
work _Im Frühling_ for string orchestra--and a pianoforte piece which
illustrates his rhythmic life and also in certain measures that
melodic line typical of all Norwegian music: the descent from the
leading tone, _i.e._, G, F-sharp, D.

[Footnote 332: The best biography in English is that by H.T. Finck;
the work, however, is somewhat marred by fulsome praise.]

[Footnote 333: During the summer solstice it is dark for only a few
hours; and further north, in the land, so-called, of the Midnight Sun,
for a few weeks there is perpetual daylight.]

[Footnote 334: He was called by Bülow the Chopin of the North.]

For a complete appreciation therefore of national music, we must
always take into consideration the traits and environment of the
people from which it sprung. Music, to be sure, is a universal
language, but each nation has used this language in its own way. The
most striking fact in present-day music is the variety gained from a
free expression of nationalism[335] without infringing upon
universality of appeal.

[Footnote 335: An admirable treatment of the whole subject may be
found in Vol. III of _The Art of Music_.]




CHAPTER XX

THE VARIED TENDENCIES OF MODERN MUSIC


Modern music--broadly speaking, music since the beginning of the
twentieth century--is certainly manifesting the characteristics which
the preceding survey has shown to be inherent in its nature: that is,
it has grown by a course of free experimentation, it is the youngest
of the arts, and it is a human language as well as a fine art. Hence
we find that modern composers are making daring experiments in
dissonance, in rhythmic variety, in subtle blends of color and, above
all, in the treatment of the orchestra. In comparison with
achievements in the other arts music often seems in its infancy; being
limited by no practical or utilitarian considerations, and employing
the boundless possibilities of sound and rhythm, there is so much
still before it. The truth contained in the saying, that music is the
youngest as well as the oldest of the arts, becomes more apparent year
by year; for although a work which originally had imaginative life can
never die, yet many former works have passed out of recognition simply
because they have been superseded by more inspired ones, composed
since their day. We can no longer listen with whole-hearted enthusiasm
to many of the older symphonies, songs and pianoforte pieces, because
Brahms, Franck, Debussy and d'Indy have given us better ones.

These experiments, just referred to, have been particularly notable on
the part of two composers of the neo-Russian group, Stravinsky and
Scryabin. Stravinsky,[336] in his brilliant pantomime ballets,
_L'Oiseau du Feu_, _Petroushka_, and _Le Sacre du Printemps_, has
proved incontestably that he is a genius--it being of the essence of
genius to create something absolutely new. These works, in their
expressive melody, harmonic originality and picturesque orchestration,
have widened the bounds of musical characterization. Scryabin[337]
(1871-1915) is noted for his esoteric harmonic scheme, shown in a
series of pianoforte preludes, sonatas and, above all, in his
orchestral works, the _Divine Poem_, the _Poem of Ecstacy_ and
_Prometheus_ or _Poem of Fire_. The effect of Scryabin's harmonies is
one of great power, and, as previously said of Debussy in his earlier
days, his imagination has undoubtedly heard sounds hitherto
unrealized. The sensational style of _Prometheus_ is augmented by the
use of a color machine which flashes upon a screen hues supposed to
supplement the various moods of the music. How many of these
experiments will be incorporated into the accepted idiom of music,
time alone will tell; but they prove conclusively that modern music is
thoroughly awake and is proving true to that spirit of freedom which
is the breath of its being.

[Footnote 336: For a detailed account of his life and works consult
the essay in _Contemporary Russian Composers_ by Montagu-Nathan and
Vol. III of _The Art of Music_.]

[Footnote 337: For a comprehensive estimate of his style and
achievements the following works will prove useful: the _Biography_,
by Eaglefield Hull; the Essay, by Montagu-Nathan in the volume
referred to, and an article by W.H. Hadow in the Musical Quarterly for
Jan. 1915.]

Music is, furthermore, not only a fine art in which have worked and
are working some of the best intellects of our race, but is inevitably
becoming a universal language. We see this clearly in the rapid growth
of music among peoples and nations which, comparatively a short time
ago, were thought to be quite outside the pale of modern artistic
development. No longer is music confined exclusively to the Italians,
French and Germans. A national spokesman for the Finns is the gifted
Sibelius, the composer of five symphonies, several Symphonic poems,
numerous songs and pianoforte pieces; his second Symphony in E minor
being a work of haunting beauty, and the Fourth noted for its bold use
of the dissonant element. The Roumanians have come to the fore in
Enesco, who has written several characteristic works for orchestra.
The Spaniards are endeavoring to restore their former glories--for we
must not forget that, in past centuries, the Spanish composers Morales
and Vittoria ranked with the great painters which that nation has
produced. Three Spanish composers, indeed, are worthy of distinct
recognition: Albeniz for his pianoforte pieces, _tangos_,
_malagueñas_, etc., in which there is such a fascinating treatment of
national dance rhythms; Granados,[338] with several operas to his
credit, and Laparra, the composer of a fantastic suite recently played
by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Spanish rhythms, melodies and local
color have been frequently incorporated in the works of other
composers, _e.g._, by Bizet in _Carmen_, by Debussy in _Ibéria_, and
in the pianoforte piece _Soirée dans Granade_, by Chabrier in
_España_, by Lalo in several works, and by the Russians, Glinka and
Rimsky-Korsakoff, in brilliant orchestral works. The Spanish
influence,[339] in fact, may be called one of the most potent in
modern music.

[Footnote 338: Who lost his life on the Sussex when it was torpedoed
by the Germans.]

[Footnote 339: For a comprehensive account, historical and critical,
of this influence consult the volume by Carl Van Vechten _The Music of
Spain_.]

Although there is no doubt of the strong musical instinct inherent in
the Hungarians--witness the prevalence of Hungarian rhythms in
Schubert, Liszt, Brahms and others--their country has always been so
torn with political dissensions that the lack of a national artistic
culture is not to be wondered at. Recently however three Hungarian
composers, Dohnányi, Moor and Béla Bartok, have produced works
embodying racial tendencies and yet of such significant content and
sound workmanship as to attract the attention of the world outside.

Italy, also, is awakening from a long sleep, and there is now a group
of young men representing New Italy (of whom Malipiero and Casella are
the best known) which should accomplish results worthy of the glorious
musical traditions of that country.

England is shaking off her subserviency[340] to the influence of
Handel and Mendelssohn, and at last has made a promising start toward
the achievement of works which shall rank with her glories in poetry,
in fiction and in painting. Among the older group we have such names
as Sullivan, with his inimitable series of operas, the _Mikado_,
_Gondoliers_, _Iolanthe_, etc.; Parry, with some notable choral works,
and Stanford--a most versatile man--Irish by birth, and with the humor
and spontaneity natural to his race; his _Irish Symphony_ and his
opera _Shamus O'Brien_ would give lustre to any period. The only
genius of the first rank however which England has produced since the
days of Purcell is Edward Elgar (1857-still living). Practically
self-educated and spending his early life in his native country he
escaped the influences of German training which so deadened the
efforts of former composers, such as Pierson and Bennett. Elgar's
music is thoroughly English in its sturdy vigor[341] and wholesome
emotion. With something first-hand to say he has acquired such a
technique in musical expression that his compositions rank in
workmanship with those of the great continental masters. In his use of
the modern orchestra Elgar need be considered second to none. His
overtures _In the South_ and _Cockaigne_, his two Symphonies and his
_Enigma Variations_ are universally acknowledged to be models of
richly-colored and varied scoring. Although his music is English it is
never parochial but has that note of universal import always found in
the work of a real genius. Among the younger men there are Wallace,
both composer and writer on musical subjects (his Threshold of music
being particularly stimulating), Holbrook, Vaughan Williams, Roger
Quilter, Arthur Hinton, Balfour Gardiner and John Ireland, a composer
of genuine individuality, as is evident from his Violin Sonata in D
Minor.

[Footnote 340: Some pithy remarks on the habitual English attitude
toward music may be found in the history of Stanford and Forsyth, page
313, _seq._]

[Footnote 341: See for example the broad theme in the middle portion
of the March, _Pomp and Circumstance_.]

Even such outlying parts of the world as Australia and South America
have contributed executive artists of great ability though, to our
knowledge, as yet no composer.

What, now, in this connection can be said of America? This much at
least: when we consider that, beyond the most rudimentary attempts,
music in our land is not yet a century old, a start has been made
which promises great things. Such pioneers as Paine, Chadwick,
MacDowell, Foote, Parker, Osgood, Whiting and Mrs. H.H.A. Beach have
written works, often in the larger forms, showing genuine inspiration
and fine workmanship, many of which have won permanent recognition
outside of their own country. Of late years a younger group has
arisen, the chief members[342] of which are Converse, Carpenter,
Gilbert, Hadley, Hill, Mason, Atherton, Stanley Smith, Brockway, Blair
Fairchild, Heilman, Shepherd, Clapp, John Powell, Margaret Ruthven
Lang, Gena Branscombe and Mabel Daniels. These composers all have
strong natural gifts, have been broadly educated, and, above all, in
their music is reflected a freedom, a humor and an individuality which
may fairly be called American; that is, it is not music which
slavishly follows the "made-in-Germany" model.[343] The composer of
greatest genius and scope in America is undoubtedly Charles Martin
Loeffler; but, although he has become a loyal American, and although
his best works have been composed in this country, we can hardly claim
him as an American composer, for his music vividly reflects French
taste and ideals. His inspired works--in particular _La Mort de
Tintagiles_, _The Pagan Poem_ and a Symphony (in one movement)--are of
peculiar importance for their connection with works of literature and
for consummate power in orchestration. Not even Debussy has expressed
more subtly the tragic spirit of Maeterlinck than has Loeffler in _La
Mort de Tintagiles_; and _The Pagan Poem_, founded on an Eclogue of
Virgil portrays most eloquently the romance of those pastoral days.
Loeffler's latest work, a String Quartet[344] dedicated to the memory
of Victor Chapman, the Harvard aviator, is remarkable for the
heart-felt beauty of its themes and for advanced technique in treating
the four solo instruments.

[Footnote 342: This valuation of American composers is made solely on
the basis of published compositions.]

[Footnote 343: For additional comments on this point see an article by
the author in the Musical Quarterly for January, 1918.]

[Footnote 344: Performed recently several times by the Flonzaley
Quartet.]

Let us now indulge in a few closing remarks of advice to the young
student faced with all this perplexing novelty. Our studies should
have made plain two definite facts: first, that the real message of
music is contained in its melody--that part of the fabric which we can
carry with us and sing to ourselves. Harmony and color are factors
closely involved with melodic inspiration, but their impression is
more fleeting; and in general, no work lacking in melody, however
colorful or filled with daring harmonic effects, can long endure. But
we must be judicious and fair in estimating exactly what constitutes a
real melody. The genius is always ahead of his time; if he thought
just as other men, he would be no genius. New types of melody are
continually being worked out; all we can say is that the creative
composer hears sounds in his imagination, the result of his emotional
and spiritual experiences and of his sympathy with the world. He
recreates these sounds in terms of notation, hoping that, as they mean
so much to him, they may be a delight and inspiration to his
fellowmen. If enough people like these works for a long enough time,
they _are_; that is, they live--no matter how much they differ from _a
priori_ standards as to what music should be.

The second fact concerns the structure of music; that is, the way in
which the thought is presented. We have seen that music always has a
carefully planned architecture--that being necessary by reason of the
indefiniteness of the material. But let us always remember that
without abandoning the fundamental principles of all organic life,
form may be--and should be--free and elastic. Every work which lives
reveals a perfect balance between the emotional and imaginative
factors and their logical presentation. If we are puzzled by the
structure of a new work the assumption should be, not that it is
formless but that, when we know the work, it will be seen to employ
simply a new use of old and accepted principles; for the works
analyzed must have convinced us that the principles of unity,
contrast, balance and symmetry are eternal; and, however modified, can
never be abandoned. The normal imagination must express itself
logically, and can no more put forth incoherent works than the human
body would give birth to misshapen offspring. Musical compositions,
which after study prove to be incoherent, diffuse and flabby, are to
be considered exceptional and not worth condemning; they are only to
be pitied. The chief aim of the music-lover should be to become an
intelligent and enthusiastic appreciator of the great works already
composed, and to train himself liberally for the welcome of new works.
Towards such an end we hope that this book may offer a helpful
contribution.




Index


A

_Academic Overture_ of Brahms, 233.

Aeolian mode, 24.

Aeschylus, compared with Brahms, 239.

Albeniz, pianoforte pieces, 327.

answer (to a fugue), 42.

Apthorp, W.F., comments on Brahms, 238;
  eulogy on Brahms's _First Symphony_, 246;
  comments on _Istar_, 283.

arabesque, 83.

Aristophanes, his humor compared with Beethoven's, 150.

Arnold, Matthew, lines on Byron apropos of Berlioz, 203;
  stanza applicable to Brahms, 233;
  definition of style, 234.

Atherton, Percy Lee, 329.

Auber, 255.

augmentation, definition of, 44.


B

Babbitt, Irving, book on Romanticism, 161;
  _The New Laocoön_, 207.

Bach, Emmanuel, use of two themes, 93;
  contributions to the Sonata-form, 100.

Bach, J.S., _Well-tempered Clavichord_, 23;
  choral (Phrygian mode), 25;
  polyphonic style, 34;
  _Goldberg Variations_, 37;
  celebrated organ fugues, 41;
  analysis of _Fugue in E-flat major_, 42-43.

_Bagatelles_, of Beethoven, 166.

Balakireff, works and features of style, 315-316.

Baldensperger, F., eulogy of Franck, 258.

Ballet music to _Prometheus_, 140.

Balzac, comment on Chopin, 189.

_Barcarolle_, of Chopin, color effect therein, 193;
  analysis of, 200-201.

_Bartered Bride Overture_, 121, 322.

basso ostinato, 86.

Baudelaire, 293.

Beach, Mrs., _Menuet Italien_, 78, 329.

Beethoven, 2, 5, 8:
  motive of _Fifth Symphony_, 12;
  _Waldstein Sonata_, 15;
  String Quartet (Lydian mode), 26;
  fugal passages in symphonies, 41;
  sentences from sonatas, 58-61;
  _Egmont Overture_, 77;
  _Rondo Capriccio_, 82;
  sets of Variations, 88;
  biography, 122-126;
  love of Nature, 125;
  features of style, 126-129;
  development of the Sonata-form, 126-127;
  treatment of the Coda, 127;
  variety of rhythm, 127-128;
  use of dissonances, 128;
  humor, 128-129;
  development of Program music, 129;
  development of varied air, 129;
  characterization of the Symphonies, 130-132;
  estimate of the Pianoforte Sonatas, 140;
  pianistic effect in Sonatas, 145;
  as a programmistic composer, 153-154;
  quality of themes, 156;
  dramatic use of single notes, 156-157;
  theme of _Ninth Symphony_ compared with theme from Brahms's _First
    Symphony_, 247.

Béla Bartok, 328.

Berlioz, quotation from _Grotesques de la Musique_, 21;
  canon in _Carnaval Romain_ Overture, 37;
  comment on Trio of _Fifth Symphony_, 150;
  biography, 202-205;
  names of his Parisian friends, 204;
  features of style, 205-206;
  _Fantastic Symphony_, analysis of, 207-211;
  _Carnaval Romain_ Overture, analysis of, 211-212;
  _Damnation of Faust_, instrumental numbers from, 213-214;
  _Harold in Italy_ Symphony, analysis of, 214-215;
  _Romeo and Juliet_ Symphony, comments on, 215-216.

Bie, Oscar, 74;
  on the style of Couperin and Rameau, 152.

Bizet, _L'Arlésienne Suites_, 80.

Bohemian School, 320-321.

Boieldieu, comment on Beethoven, 134, 255.

_bolero_, 75.

Boris Godounoff, description of, 320.

Borodin, works and features of style, 316-317.

Boschot, work, in three parts, on Berlioz, 207.

_bourrée_, 75.

Brahms, _First Symphony_, 8, 14, 21, 44;
  modal expression in works, 23;
  _Fourth Symphony_ (Phrygian mode), 25;
  canonic style, 36;
  _C minor Trio_, 67;
  sets of variations, 88;
  biography, 231-233;
  features of style, 233-238;
  analysis of _First Symphony_, 239-249;
  of _Violin Sonata_, 250-252;
  of _G minor Ballade for Pianoforte_, 252-253;
  attitude toward program music, 253;
  the nature of his _Intermezzi_, 253;
  of the _Capriccios_, 253;
  his _Rhapsodies_, 254;
  analysis of song _Meine Liebe ist grün_, 254;
  other songs, 255.

branle (brawl), 75.

Branscombe, Gena, 329.

Brenet, M., _Life of Haydn_, 104.

Brockway, H., on American folk-songs, 33, 329.

Browning, 1;
  quotation apropos of the fugue, 49;
  quotations apropos of the _Fifth Symphony_, 146, 150.

Bruckner, movement from _Seventh Symphony_, 231.

Bruneau, _History of Russian Music_, 314.

Bull, John, 79, 85.

Bülow, _Sonatas_ of E. Bach, 100;
  comment on Grieg, 325.

Burney, on the 18th Century, 103.

Buxtehude, 34.

Byrd, William, 12, 79, 85.

Byron, influence on Schumann's style, 177.


C

_C minor Symphony_ (Beethoven), analysis of, 145-151.

_C minor Symphony_ (Brahms), analysis of, 239-249.

cadences, 55-57.

Calvacoressi, on dominant relationship, 52.

canon, 11;
  account of, 36-37.

canzona, 69.

_Carnaval Romain_ Overture, analysis of, 211-212.

Carpenter, John Alden, _Adventures in a Perambulator_, 80, 329.

Casella, 328.

_Casse-Noisette Suite_, 80.

Cellini, Benvenuto, compared with Berlioz, 202;
  opera by Berlioz, 211.

Chabrier, _Bourrée Fantasque_, 80, 297;
  _España_, 80, 297;
  Overture to _Gwendoline_, 99, 297;
  account of style, 297.

_chaconne_, 86;
  Bach's for violin solo, 87.

Chadwick, _Canonic Studies_, 36;
  fugal passage in _Vagrom Ballad_, 41, 329.

Chamisso, texts for Schumann's songs, 170.

Chantavoine, Life of Beethoven, 159.

Charpentier, _Impressions of Italy_, 80.

Chausson, Ernest, account of style, 298.

Chavannes, Puvis de, compared with Franck, 258.

Chopin, type of melody, 10, 21;
  _Sonata in C minor_, 67;
  biography and features of style, 188-189;
  analysis of _Prelude in C major_, 198;
  _Étude in A-flat major_, 199;
  _Mazurka in F-sharp minor_, 199;
  analysis of _Polonaise in E-flat minor_, 200;
  of _Barcarolle_, 200-201;
  of _Scherzo in C-sharp minor_, 201.

chromatic changes, 51.

Clapp, P.G., 48, 329.

coda, definition and examples of, 99.

color, in different keys, 51.

Combarieu, Jules, 2.

Converse, F.S., Dramatic Poem, _Job_ (Phrygian mode), 26;
  _String Quartet_, 99, 329.

Corelli, 70, 74.

_Coriolanus_ Overture, analysis of, 152-156.

counterpoint, definition of, 11.

counter-subject (of a fugue), 42.

Couperin, 70, 74, 81, 85;
  descriptive pieces, 152, 255.

_courante_ (_corrente_), 75.

Croatian Folk-songs (in Haydn), 101-102.

_csárdás_, 76.


D

_D major Sonata_ of Beethoven, analysis of, 140-145.

_D Minor Symphony_ of Schumann, 179-184.

d'Albert, _Suite for Pianoforte_, 78.

_Damnation of Faust_, instrumental numbers from, 213-214.

Daniels, Mabel, 329.

Dannreuther, eulogy on Beethoven, 159;
  comment on Berlioz's counterpoint, 209.

Dargomijsky, use of whole-tone scale, 289.

Debussy, modal expression in works, 23, 288-289;
  _Pelléas et Mélisande_ (Dorian mode), 24;
  comments upon, 294;
  _Minstrels_ (cadence in), 55-56;
  _Sarabande_ for pianoforte, 77;
  comment on development, 97;
  compared with Mendelssohn, 185;
  apropos of new music, 204;
  features of style, 287-297;
  whole-tone scale, 289-290;
  titles of pianoforte pieces, 292-293;
  on his pianoforte style, 295-296.

de Musset, quotation apropos of Grieg, 325.

deceptive cadence, 56.

Dent, E.J., _Mozart's Operas_, 112.

De Pachman, playing of Mendelssohn's pieces, 185.

De Quincey, quotation from the _Dream Fugue_, 49.

_Deutsches Requiem_, 233.

development section of Sonata-form, 93-94, 97-98.

Dickinson, Edward, estimate of Haydn, 101.

diminution, definition of, 44.

d'Indy, modal expression in works, 23;
  canonic style, 36;
  Symphonic Variations, _Istar_, 67;
  comments on the Sonata-form, 95, 100;
  comment on Beethoven's _Seventh Symphony_, 131;
  comment on _Sonata Pathétique_, 142;
  comments on D major Sonata, 145;
  comments on _Fifth Symphony_, 145;
  Life of Beethoven, 159;
  comments on Franck's themes, 268;
  biography and features of style, 280-282;
  _Istar_, analysis of, 283-287.

dissonance, discord, distinction between terms, 143.

Dohnányi, 328.

Dominant, acoustical and harmonic importance of, 22-23, 52.

_Don Giovanni_, 111, 119.

_Don Juan_, 85.

_Don Quixote_, 89.

Dorian mode, 24.

Dostoyevsky, 314, 319, 320.

Doumic, René, essay on George Sand, 189.

Dowland, John, his _Pavans_, 80.

Duparc, Henri, account of his style, 298.

Dvo[vr]ák, _New World Symphony_, 9, 21;
  modal expression in works, 23;
  _New World Symphony_ (Aeolian mode), 26;
  _Suite for Orchestra_, 79;
  works and features of style, 322-324.


E

Eichendorff, texts for Schumann's songs, 176.

_Eighth Symphony_ of Beethoven, Finale, 157.

Elgar, Edward, works and features of style, 328-329.

Ellis, W.A., translation of Wagner's Essays, 154.

Enesco, 327.

enharmonic, modulation, 52-53.

episode, definition of, 39-40.

exposition of Sonata-form, 96.

extended cadences, 62-63.


F

_F major Sonata_ of Mozart, analysis of, 113-115.

Fairchild, Blair, 329.

_Fantastic Symphony_, analysis of, 207-211;
  quotation from, 207-209.

Farwell, Arthur, on folk-music, 33.

Fauré, Gabriel, account of style, 297-298.

_Faust_ Symphony, analysis of, 223-226.

Fay, Amy, account of Liszt, 217.

feminine ending, 57.

Fibich, 321.

Finck, H.T., _Songs and Song Writers_, 265;
  _Chopin and Other Essays_, 198;
  comments on Program Music, 226;
  biography of Grieg, 324.

Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, 79, 152.

five-bar rhythm, 63-64.

Flonzaley Quartet, 105.

folk-songs, principle of restatement in, 16;
  origin and importance of, 19-33.

Foote, Arthur, fugal Finale to _Suite_, 41, 329.

Forsyth, Cecil, eulogy of Mendelssohn, 185.

_Francesca da Rimini_, 154.

Franck, _Symphony_, 8, 15;
  polyphonic structure, 13;
  canonic style, 36;
  canon in _Symphony_, 37;
  in _Violin Sonata_, 37;
  _Fugue in B minor for Pianoforte_, 41;
  comparison of his scoring with that of Schumann, 181;
  limitations of his pianoforte style, 190;
  his fusion of movements compared with that of Brahms, 251;
  biography, 256-257;
  features of style, 257-258;
  analysis of _D minor Symphony_, 259-268;
  of _Sonata for Violin_, 268-274;
  use of generative themes, 268;
  _Symphonic Variations_, 274-280;
  comparison of his style with that of Bach and Beethoven, 274;
  his group of pupils, 280.

French folk-song, 29.

French Overture, 119.

Frescobaldi, 34.

Friedländer, Max, apropos of Chabrier, 281.

fugue, 11;
  definition of, 39.

Fuller-Maitland, life of Brahms, 238.

_furiant_, 75, 321.


G

_G major Pianoforte Concerto_ of Beethoven, 152-158.

_G minor Symphony_, analysis of, 115-119.

Gade, Neils, 324.

_galliard_, 75, 80.

Galuppi, as a pioneer in Sonata-form, 93.

Gardiner, Balfour, 329.

Gautier, Théophile, eulogy of Berlioz, 207.

_gavotte_, 75;
  account of, and examples, 78-79.

Gilbert, H.F., on folk-songs, 20, 33, 329.

Gilman, Lawrence, essay on Berlioz, 214;
  comments on _Istar_, 283;
  essay on Debussy, 293;
  comments on _Pelléas el Mélisande_, 297.

Glinka, 301, 315.

Gluck, Ballet music, 87;
  Operatic Overtures, 119.

Goethe, eulogy on Mozart, 112.

Gogol, 314, 320.

Gosse, Edmund, comment on Mallarmé's eclogue, 293.

Gossec, as a pioneer in Sonata-form, 93.

Granados, Spanish folk-dance, 167;
  works, 327.

Gregorian Chant, 10.

Gregorian modes in folk-songs, 20.

Grétry, comments on Sonata-form, 98, 255.

Grieg, 21;
  Canon for Pianoforte, 37;
  _Peer Gynt Suite_, 80;
  _Holberg Suite_, 80;
  works and features of style, 324-325.

ground bass, 86;
  from Bach's Mass, 86.

Grove, _Beethoven and his Nine Symphonies_, 130.

Grove's _Dictionary_, 70, 73, 79, 81, 86, 104, 119, 154, 161, 172, 200,
  217, 238.

Guilmant, March in Dorian Mode, 24;
  Canon for Organ, 36.

Gurney, _The Power of Sound_, 2.


H

_habañera_, 76.

Habets, Alfred, account of Borodin and Liszt, 316.

Hadley, Henry, 329.

Hadow, W.H., 72, 81, 92, 96;
  _Studies in Modern Music_, 184, 198, 207, 238;
  essay on Dvo[vr]ák, 321;
  article on Scryabin, 326.

Hale, Philip, comments on Saint-Saëns, 256;
  comments on Lalo, 256;
  essay on Mozart, 112;
  comments on _Scheherazade_, 317-318.

_halling_, 76.

Handel, fugue from the Messiah, 41;
  _Harpsichord Lessons_, 74;
  Air in Sarabande rhythm, 77;
  _Harmonious Blacksmith_, 86;
  Overture to _Messiah_, 119.

Harmonic Series, 51.

_Harold in Italy_ Symphony, analysis of, 214-215.

Haydn, 21, 81, 87;
  ancestry, 101;
  features of style, 101-105;
  his freedom of rhythm, 102;
  development of the String-Quartet and the Orchestra, 102-103;
  _Sonata in E-Flat major_, 105-106;
  _Surprise Symphony_, 106-108;
  comment on Minuet, 144;
  Prelude to the _Creation_, 152.

Hazlitt, comment on Mozart, 111.

_Hebrides_ Overture of Mendelssohn, 185.

Heilman, William C., 329.

Heine, texts for songs of Schubert and Schumann, 176;
  comment on Berlioz's music, 205.

Helmholtz, 193, 291.

Henderson, W.J., _Preludes and Studies_, 184.

Henschel, vocal canon, 37;
  conversation with Brahms, 233.

_Heroic Symphony_, analysis of, 132-140.

Hérold, 255.

Hill, Edward Burlingame, _Stevensoniana_, 80;
  comments on Saint-Saëns, 256;
  essay on d'Indy, 281, 329.

Hinton, Arthur, 329.

Hoffman, E.T.A., Essay on _Fifth Symphony_, 151.

_Holberg Suite_, 80.

Holbrook, 329.

Holmès, Augusta, 280.

homophonic, 10.

hornpipe, 75.

Hull, Eaglefield, Biography of Scryabin, 326.

Huneker, Life of Chopin, 198;
  on the playing of Chopin, 199;
  comment on Chopin's Scherzo, 201;
  Life of Liszt, 217;
  comment on Liszt's Songs, 220;
  essay on Brahms, 238;
  essay on Tchaikowsky, 306.

Hungarian folk-song, 30, 328.

_Hungarian Rhapsodies_, 227.

Hungarian rhythms in Schubert, Liszt and Brahms, 30;
  in Schubert's Symphonies, 166;
  in Brahms's First Symphony, 244.


I

_Impromptus_ of Schubert, 165-166.

_Indian Suite_, 80.

invention, 11.

_Invention in C major_, analysis of, 38-89.

inversion, definition of, 43-44.

Ionian mode, 24.

Ireland, John, 329.

Irish Folk-song, 29, 35.

_Istar_, Symphonic Poem of d'Indy, as example of a varied air, 89;
  analysis of, 283-287.

Italian Overture, 119.


J

Jadassohn, Canonic Pieces, 37.

James, Henry, essay on George Sand, 189.

Jannequin, descriptive pieces for voices, 152.

_jota_ (_aragonesa_), 76.


K

_Kaiser Quartet_, 87.

Keats, quotation apropos of _Fifth Symphony_, 148;
  quotation from, 163.

Kelly, E.S., _Chopin the Composer_, 198.

Kelly, Michael, _Reminiscences of Mozart_, 112.

_King Lear_, quotation from by Berlioz, 207.

Kjerulf, 324.

Korbay, F., _Hungarian Melodies_, 30.

Krehbiel, essay on Haydn, 103;
  _The Pianoforte and its Music_, 152.

_Kreisleriana_, 83.

Kuhnau, _Bible Sonatas_, 152.


L

Lalo, Eduard, works and features of style, 256.

Laloy, Louis, Life of Chopin, 198;
  essay on Debussy, 294.

Laparra, 327.

_L'apprenti Sorcier_, 154.

_L'après-midi d'un Faune_, 154, 293-294.

Lavoix, estimate of the _Fifth Symphony_, 127.

Legouvé, _Recollections_ of Berlioz, 205.

Lekeu, 257.

_L'idée fixe_, 207-210.

Liebich, Mrs., essay on Debussy, 294.

Liszt, 4, 21;
  characterization of Schubert, 164;
  _Faust_ Symphony (theme in augmentation), 45;
  Life of Chopin, 198;
  biography, 217-218;
  features of style, 218-219;
  analysis of Symphonic Poem, _Orpheus_, 221-222;
  of _Faust_ Symphony, 223-226;
  pianoforte compositions, 226-227;
  alleged influence on Brahms, 232;
  use of whole-tone scale, 289.

Locke, A.W., article in _Musical Quarterly_, 151.

Loeffler, Charles Martin, works and features of style, 329-330.

_Lonesome Tunes_, 33.

_loure_, 75;
  example of, from Bach, 79.

Lowell, J.R., definition of a classic, 161.

Lully, 70, 119.

Lydian mode, 24.


M

MacCunn, Hamish, _Scottish Melodies_, 28.

MacDowell, _Rigaudon_, 79;
  _Indian Suite_, 80, 329.

madrigal, 69.

Maeterlinck, compared with Franck, 257;
  comment on the theatre, 294;
  influence on Loeffler, 330.

_Magic Flute_ Overture, analysis of, 119-121.

Mahler, comments on his style, 231.

_malagueña_, 76.

Mallarmé, 293.

Malipiero, 328.

_Manfred_ Overture, 177-179.

Mannheim Orchestra, 102.

Manuel, Roland, life of Ravel, 299.

march, 75.

_Marriage of Figaro_, 111.

masculine ending, 57.

Mason, D.G., 7, 9;
  essay on Haydn, 102;
  on Mozart, 112;
  comment on Chopin's style, 196;
  essay on Berlioz, 211;
  on Saint-Saëns, 256;
  on d'Indy, 281;
  comments on _Istar_, 283;
  essay on Debussy, 295;
  on Tchaikowsky, 306;
  on Dvo[vr]ák, 322;
  as composer, 329.

_mazurka_, 75.

mediant relationship, 52, 96.

Méhul, 255.

_Melpomene_ Overture, 154.

_Melusine_ Overture of Mendelssohn, 185.

Mendelssohn, 89;
  biography and features of style, 184-186;
  Violin Concerto, comments on, 185-186.

Merkel, canon for organ, 36.

_Midsummer Night's Dream_ Overture, analysis of, 186-187.

Milton, quotation from _Paradise Lost_, 49.

minuet, 75;
  account of, and examples, 78.

Mixolydian mode, 24.

modal, chart of modes, 23-24.

modulation, 51-52.

_Moments Musicaux_ of Schubert, 165-166.

Montagu-Nathan, _History of Russian Music_, 314, 326.

Monteverde, 119.

Morales, 327.

Moor, 328.

_Mother Goose Suite_, 81.

Moussorgsky, works and features of style, 318-320.

Mozart, _Magic Flute_ Overture, 40;
  Finale of _Jupiter_ Symphony, 40, 81;
  biography, 108-110;
  features of style, 110-112;
  Mozart and Haydn, reactive influence, 110-111;
  polyphonic skill, 110, 112;
  dramatic power, 111;
  examples from works, 113-121.

Mundy, John, descriptive pianoforte piece, 152.

_musette_, 78.

_Mystic Trumpeter_, 154.


N

National Music, distinctive features of, 300-301.

Neefe, Beethoven's teacher, 124.

_Neue Zeitschrift für Musik_, founded by Schumann, 174.

_New World Symphony_, critical comments on, 323-324.

Newman, _Musical Studies_, 154, 178, 207;
  comment on Debussy, 296.

Newmarch, Rosa, _Life of Tchaikovsky_, 305.

Niecks, _Programme Music_, 152, 214, 221, 305;
  _Life of Chopin_, 198;
  eulogy of Liszt, 228.

Nordraak, 324.


O

Organ, the, its tone compared with that of pianoforte, 191.

organum, 10.

_Orpheus_, Symphonic Poem, analysis of, 221-222.

Osgood, George L., 329.

overtones, chart of, 193.

_Oxford History of Music_, 10, 12, 102, 103, 110, 119, 161, 165, 185,
  216, 221, 226.


P

Paderewski, 77;
  Minuet of, 78;
  playing of Mendelssohn's pieces, 185.

Paganini, connection with Berlioz, 214.

Paine, J.K., _Fuga Giocosa_, 46, 49;
  tribute to Beethoven, 129, 329.

Palestrina, 34.

Parker, H.W., fugue from _Hora Novissima_, 41, 329.

Parry, _Evolution of the Art of Music_, 9, 16, 21, 69, 70;
  choral works, 328.

_Passacaglia_, 86;
  of Brahms, 86;
  of Bach for organ, 87.

_passepied_, 75.

Pater, Walter, remark on Romanticism, 161.

_pavane_, 75;
  example from Ravel, 79.

pedals of the pianoforte, the damper and the una corda, 192-195.

_Peer Gynt_ Suite, 80.

period, definition of, 50.

Pérotin, 34.

Perry, Baxter, 90.

_Phaëton_, 256.

Philidor, 255.

Phrygian cadence, 24-25.

Phrygian mode, 23;
  Brahms's use of, 239.

pianoforte, the, account of its characteristics, 189-195.

plagal cadence, 55.

_polka_, 75, 321.

_polonaise_, 75.

polyphonic, 10.

polyphonic music, complete account of, 33-49.

Poirée, Elié, Life of Chopin, 198.

Pope, apropos of the jig, 80.

Pougin, Arthur, comments on Moussorgsky, 318-319.

Powell, John, 329.

Pratt, _History of Music_, 10, 93, 159, 161.

prelude (to Sonata-form), 99.

_Prix de Rome_, won by Berlioz, 205;
  by Debussy, 288.

Prout, 85.

Puccini, fugal prelude to _Madama Butterfly_, 41.

Purcell, 70;
  his Jig, 71.

Pushkin, 314.


Q

Quilter, Roger, 329.


R

Rabelais, his humor compared with Beethoven's, 150, 157.

Rameau, acoustical reforms of, 23, 70, 74, 81, 85;
  descriptive pieces, 152, 255.

Ravel, _Daphnis and Chloe_, 68;
  his Pavane, 79;
  _Mother Goose Suite_, 81;
  works and account of style, 299-300.

recapitulation (or _résumé_), 98-99.

Reinecke, Canonic Vocal Trios, 37.

Remenyi, Brahms's tour with, 232.

repetition, importance of, 12, 13;
  types of, 14-18.

Rheinberger, _Canonic Pieces_, 87;
  _Tarantelle_ for Pianoforte, 79.

rhythmic variety (five and seven beats a measure), 66-68.

Richter, Jean Paul, influence on Schumann, 172.

Riemann, 93.

_rigaudon_, 75;
  examples of, from Grieg, Rameau and MacDowell, 79, 81.

Rimsky-Korsakoff, works and features of style, 317.

_Roi d'Ys, Le_, 256.

Rolland, Romain, account of Beethoven in _Jean Christophe_, 125;
  _Life of Beethoven_, 159;
  essay on Berlioz, 207.

Romanticism and Romantic School, account of, 160-165.

_Romeo and Juliet_ Symphony, comments on, 215-216.

rondo, account of, 81-85.

rondo-sonata form, 144.

Ropartz, 257;
  characterization of a theme in Franck's Symphony, 266.

Rossetti, _Blessed Damozel_, set by Debussy, 288.

Rossini, "crescendo" in Overtures, 62;
  eulogy of Mozart, 121.

_Rouet d'Omphale, Le_, 256.

round, 11;
  _Old English Rounds_, 12.

rubato (tempo), definition of, 199.

Rubinstein, movements in _Ocean Symphony_, 95;
  estimate of Mozart, 111;
  characterization of the damper pedal, 191.

Runciman, quotation apropos of Weber from _Old Scores and New Readings_,
  169-170.

Russian folk-songs, 30-33.

Russian music, general tendencies of, 314-315.


S

Saint-Saëns, 1, 2;
  comment on Berlioz's _Romeo and Juliet Symphony_, 216;
  account of works and style, 255-256.

_Sakuntala_, 154.

_saltarello_, 75;
  Berlioz's use of the rhythm, 211.

Sammartini, as a pioneer in Sonata-form, 93.

Santayana, 5.

_sarabande_, 75, 76, 77.

Scandinavian Music, 324.

Scarlatti, Alessandro, Aria da capo, 14;
  operatic overture, 119.

Scarlatti, D., the _Cat-Fugue_, 48;
  as virtuoso, 74;
  anticipation of Sonata-form, 93;
  _Courante_ for pianoforte, 79;
  crossing of hands in Beethoven, 141, 144.

Schumann, 7;
  motive from the _Carnaval_, 13;
  from the _Kinderscenen_, 13;
  _Arabesque_, 14:
  saying about folk-songs, 20;
  Canon for organ, 36;
  Canonic Variations, 37;
  _Carnaval_, 68;
  _Phantasiestücke_, 68;
  his use of the Rondo, 82-83;
  Variations, 88;
  comment on Schubert, 166;
  biography and features of style, 172-174;
  analysis of _Des Abends_, 174-175;
  of _Warum_, 175-176;
  of _Novellette in E major_, 176;
  of Song, _Mondnacht_, 176-177;
  of _Manfred_ Overture, 177-179;
  characterization of the four Symphonies, 179;
  _Symphony in D minor_, analysis of, 179-184;
  eulogy of Brahms in the _Neue Zeitschrift_, 232.

Schola Cantorum, account of, 282.

Scottish folk-tune, 28.

Scryabin, as harmonic innovator, 143;
  works and features of style, 327.

_seguidilla_, 76, 79.

sentence, complete analysis of, 53, 54.

sequence, definition of, 38.

_Scheherazade Suite_, 81.

scherzo, of Beethoven, 128-129.

Schmitt, Florent, 280.

Schubert, 21;
  Variations, 88;
  account of style and works, 162-169;
  character of songs, 165;
  symphonic style, 166;
  chamber music, 166;
  pianoforte style, 167;
  as great colorist, 167-168;
  analysis of _Unfinished Symphony_, 167-169.

seven-bar rhythm, 66.

Shakespeare, 1;
  apropos of the galliard, 80.

Sharp, Cecil, _English Folk-Song_, 27;
  on American folk-songs, 33.

Shepherd, Arthur, 329.

Shedlock, J.S., 93, 100.

shifted rhythm, 46.

Sibelius, features of his style, 230, 324, 327.

_siciliano_, 76.

Sinding, 325.

Sinigaglia, Overture, 99.

Sjögren, 324.

Smetana, _Bartered Bride Overture_, 40, 121;
  works and features of style, 321-322.

Smith, Stanley, 329.

Smithson, Henrietta, her life with Berlioz, 204-205.

sonata and sonata-form, distinction between, 94-95.

sonata-form, account of 91-100;
  tabular view, 100.

_Song of Destiny_, Brahms, 233.

_Songs without Words_, Mendelssohn, 185.

Spanish music, its influence in modern times, 327-328.

Spitta, essay on Brahms, 238.

Stamitz, J., influence on Sonata-form, 93.

Stanford, Villiers, Irish folk-songs, 29;
  features of style, 328.

Stanford-Forsyth history, 121, 328.

Stendhal, remark on Romanticism, 161.

_Stevensoniana_, 80.

Strauss, R., motive from _Till's Merry Pranks_, 18;
  _Don Juan_, 85;
  _Till Eulenspiegel_, 85;
  estimate of Mozart, 111.

Stravinsky, as harmonic innovator, 143;
  works and features of style, 326-327.

Streatfield, essay on Tchaikowsky, 306.

stretto, 46.

string-quartet, definition of, 94.

subdominant, acoustical and harmonic importance, 22-23, 52.

subject (of a fugue), 42-43.

suite, the classical, 73-80;
  the modern, 80-81.

_Suites, French and English_, 74.

Sullivan, Arthur, operas, 328.

_Sumer is icumen in_ (Ionian mode) 27.

Surette, T.W., comments on Bach's style, 48, 72;
  _Development of Symphonic Music_, 159.

_Surprise Symphony_, analysis of, 106-108.

Svendsen, 324.

Sweelinck, 34.

Symonds, Arthur, _Studies in the Seven Arts_, 159.

_Symphonic Études_, 88.

symphonic poem, definition of, 149, 220.

symphonic style, development of, 228-231.


T

Tallys, Thomas, vocal canon, 37.

_tambourin_, 71.

_tango_, 76.

_tarantella_, 75.

Taylor, Bayard, translation of stanza from _Faust_, 225.

Tchaikowsky, Modeste, biography of his brother, 306.

Tchaikowsky, P., _Fifth Symphony_, 8, 21;
  analysis of, 306-314;
  modal expression in works, 23;
  _Legend_ (Aeolian mode), 26;
  _Fourth Symphony_, finale of, 33;
  analysis of, 305;
  _Sixth Symphony_, 67;
  analysis of, 305-306;
  _Quartet in F major_, 67-68;
  variations from Trio, 89;
  estimate of Mozart, 111, 121;
  biography, 302-303;
  features of style, 303-305.

Thackeray, W.M., characterization of Berlioz, 204.

Thayer, Alexander, _Life of Beethoven_, 159.

thematic development, 34.

three-bar rhythm, 65-66.

three-part form, complete account of, 72-73;
  examples of, 73.

Tiersot, J., on folk-melodies, 21;
  _Chansons Populaires_, 30;
  work on Berlioz, 207.

_Till Eulenspiegel_, 85.

Tolstoi, 315, 319, 320.

tonality, principles of, 50-51.

tonic, acoustical and harmonic importance of, 22-23.

_Tragic Overture_, Brahms, 233.

transformation of theme, its use in Schumann, 182.

Turgenieff, 315.

two-part form, definition of, 38;
  complete account of, 69-72.


V

Van Vechten, book on Spanish music, 328.

variation form, account of, 85-91.

_Variations, in F minor_ of Haydn, 87;
  on _Death and the Maiden_, 88;
  _Sérieuses_, 88;
  _on a Theme from Handel_, 88;
  on the _St. Anthony Choral_, 88;
  (_Enigma_) by Elgar, 89;
  _Symphoniques_, 89.

Verdi, Minuet from _Falstaff_, 78.

Veretschagin, 320.

Verlaine, 293.

_Violin Concerto_ of Beethoven, 156-157.

Vittoria, 327.

Vivaldi, 70.

von Breuning family, 125.


W

Wagner, comment on operas, 4;
  quality of themes, 8;
  motive from the _Valkyrie_, 12;
  polyphonic structure of operas, 13;
  motive from _Tristan and Isolde_, 17;
  fugal Prelude to third act of the _Mastersingers_, 41;
  comments on _Leonore_ Overture, 98;
  eulogy of Mendelssohn, 185.

_Waldesrauschen_, Étude of Lizst, 227.

Waldstein, friendship with Beethoven, 125.

_Waldstein_ Sonata, 83.

Walker, E., on English folk-music, 22.

Wallace, estimate of Haydn, 102;
  _Threshold of Music_, 291, 329.

Wallaschek, R., on primitive music, 21.

_Wallenstein Trilogy_ (d'Indy), 281.

_waltz_, 75.

Weber, _Moto Perpetuo_, 83;
  orchestral treatment in his Overtures, 164-165;
  account of style, 169-172;
  _Invitation to the Dance_, arrangement by Weingartner, 169;
  compared with that by Berlioz, 171;
  _Oberon_ Overture, analysis of, 170-171;
  compositions for pianoforte, 171.

Weckerlin, example from _Echos du Temps Passé_, 71.

Weingartner, eulogy of Berlioz, 206;
  comments on the Symphonic Poem, 220;
  comments on Brahms's _First Symphony_, 244, 246.

Whistler, compared with Debussy, 293.

Whiting, Arthur, _Scottish Melodies_, 28;
  _Irish Melodies_, 29;
  _Suite Moderne_, 80;
  _Pedal Studies_, 193, 194, 329.

Whitman, 1;
  quotation from _Mystic Trumpeter_, 146.

Widor, canon for organ, 36.

Willaert, harmonic basis of choruses, 23.

Williams, Abdy, on Brahms's rhythm, 253.

Williams, Vaughan, 329.

Wordsworth, quotation from, 163.

Wyman, Loraine, 33.




LIST OF COMPOSITIONS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK


I. _Sumer is icumen in._ Old English Round.

II. _To the Green Wood._ Round by Byrd.

III. Finale of Wagner's _Valkyrie_.

IV. _Reconnaissance_ from Schumann's _Carnaval_.

V. Irish Folk Song.

VI. Epilogue of Strauss's _Till's Merry Pranks_.

VII. _March in Dorian Mode._ Guilmant.

VIII. _Movement in Lydian Mode._ Beethoven.

IX. _Canon._ Thomas Tallys.

X. _Canon_ from _Études Symphoniques_. Schumann.

XI. No. VI of the _Goldberg Variations_. J.S. Bach.

XII. _Canon for Pianoforte._ Grieg.

XIII. _Canon for Pianoforte._ Jadassohn.

XIV. _Two-voiced Invention in C major._ J.S. Bach.

XV. _Three-voiced Fugue in E-flat major._ J.S. Bach.

XVI. Final portion of _Organ Fugue in G major_. J.S. Bach.

XVII. _Cat Fugue for Pianoforte._ D. Scarlatti.

XVIII. _Fuga Giocosa for Pianoforte._ J.K. Paine.

XIX. Song, _The Evening Star_. Schumann.

XX. _Gavotte in F major._ Corelli.

XXI. _Waltz in A-flat major._ Schubert.

XXII. _Träumerei._ Schumann.

XXIII. _Prelude in A major._ Chopin.

XXIV. _Lyric Piece in E-flat major._ Grieg.

XXV. _Nocturne in F major._ Chopin.

XXVI. _Berceuse in G major._ Grieg.

XXVII. _Intermezzo in E-flat minor._ Heilman.

XXVIII. _Sarabande in D major._ J.S. Bach.

XXIX. Gavotte from _Third English Suite_. J.S. Bach.

XXX. Minuet from _Don Giovanni_. Mozart.

XXXI. Two Minuets from _Castor and Pollux_. Rameau.

XXXII. _Gigue in G major._ J.S. Bach.

XXXIII. _Gigue in G major._ Mozart.

XXXIV. _Courante in F minor._ D. Scarlatti.

XXXV. _French Suite in E major._ J.S. Bach.

XXXVI. _Soeur Monique._ Rondo by Couperin.

XXXVII. _Romance in E major._ Rondo by Schumann.

XXXVIII. _Rondo à Capriccio in G major._ Beethoven.

XXXIX. Aria from _Dido and Aeneas_ (Ground bass). Purcell.

XL. _Sonata in C major._ D. Scarlatti.

XLI. Finale from _Sonata in E-flat major_. Haydn.

XLII. First Movement from the _Surprise Symphony_. Haydn.

XLIII. _Adagio in B minor._ Mozart.

XLIV. First Movement from the _Heroic Symphony_. Beethoven.

XLV. _Sonata in D Major._ Beethoven.

XLVI. Finale from _Sonata in A-flat major_. Beethoven.

XLVII. Portion of Slow Movement of _Seventh Symphony_. Beethoven.

XLVIII. Slow Movement of _Trio in B-flat major_. Beethoven.

XLIX. Theme of Slow Movement from _Sonata in E major_, Op. 109.
Beethoven.

L. _The Young Nun_. Song by Schubert.

LI. Intermezzo from the _Euryanthe Overture_. Weber.

LII. Portion of Fantasy Piece, _Grillen_. Schumann.

LIII. _Novellette in E major._ Schumann.

LIV. _Moonlight._ Song by Schumann.

LV. _Venetian Boat Song._ Mendelssohn.

LVI. _Barcarolle._ Chopin.

LVII. _The Carnaval Romain Overture._ Berlioz.

LVIII. _March of the Pilgrims_ from the _Harold in Italy Symphony_.
Berlioz.

LIX. _Forest Murmurs._ Étude by Liszt.

LX. _Ballade in G minor._ Brahms.

LXI. _My Love is Green as the Alder Bush._ Song by Brahms.

LXII. Finale of Symphonic Poem, _Istar_. D'Indy.

LXIII. _Chanson triste_ for Pianoforte. Tchaikowsky.

LXIV. _Invocation to Sleep._ Song by Tchaikowsky.

LXV. _Serenade._ Borodin.

LXVI. _Cradle Song of the Poor._ Moussorgsky.

LXVII. _Silhouette._ Dvo[vr]ák.

LXVIII. _Spring Song._ Grieg.

LXIX. _Dance of Spring._ Grieg.




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